growth 19 months ago
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I’m hoping my Avon business takes off so I can volunteer overseas in a year or so, as the opportunities I’m looking into require $$. 20 months ago
As someone who was born in a 3rd world country and emigrated to a 1st world country, I’ve realized how lucky I was to be living a comfortable life. My family emigrated from the Solomon Islands to seek a better life in Australia. I have a little bit of guilt as most of my cousins are living back there while I’m living here. I plan on volunteering in my home country in the near future. 21 months ago
I used to spend quite a bit of time volunteering in my local community, but I had also wanted to try a longer overseas stint since my last year of high school. When I realised there would be a gap between the end of my university degree and the start of my graduate placement, I jetted off to Chile and spent some months volunteering with VE Global. VE is a not-for-profit which partners with local institutions (e.g. orphanages, community centres) that work with at-risk children and youth, and it was a mission that fit my background perfectly.
I spent most of my time at a small school for special needs children, working with a class of kids with autism. It really made me appreciate how much stronger the social support structures are in countries like Australia, because I have also worked with special needs children here and there are huge differences in the level of training, resources and support that the staff have in dealing with the kids.
In all honesty, it was an experience that often left me feeling both frustrated and helpless even as I grew to love the place and the people because I ran into deeply-rooted and often bureaucratic social problems at every turn, and much as I knew I was not there to change or fix everything, it was not always easy to avoid reacting emotionally with the thought of, “How can so much be so wrong?” There was a lot I could do, but there was so much more that I could not do.
I am glad I did it, and I adored the children I worked with, but it taught me a lot about myself and how much passion I would need to work with such groups and environments on a long-term basis. If I were to do something similar again – and I fully intend to – I will go in better mentally and emotionally prepared to persist in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Whenever there is a group of people who believe and act, they can achieve amazing things. 21 months ago
How I did it: I saved up for a couple of months and sent an application form to an organization called the Thai Child Development Foundation via a website called worldwidehelpers.org.
I was accepted, then booked a couple of weeks around my month of volunteering at other locales in S. Thailand, which allowed me to do the whole thing on a tight budget. Read how I did it… 22 months ago
I’d especially love to volunteer in China and help either the elderly, children, or pandas; or volunteering in Bulgaria in any way but especially working in an orphanage! There’s of course always more places. The problem is, it seems in order to volunteer in anything I need money, experience/references, or maybe even both. That’s the main reason why I keep putting this goal on the back burner. 23 months ago
So, I did this back in 2010 and I am now planning to do it again in 2012. I can’t wait. I have been researching programs. Time goes by so quickly, so I better sign up for something quickly. 23 months ago