Volunteering is an amazing way to give something back to the world, and in many instances, it can also be an exciting and unique way to see more of the world. Instead of simply planning a vacation, by choosing to volunteer abroad you get the opportunity to see areas of the world that you usually would not have the chance to explore when taking a regular vacation. You also have the option of spending time among other cultures, learning about how other people from other backgrounds, lead their lives.
Of course, while a lot of people presume that any trip abroad where you are helping other people counts as volunteering, that is not the case. There?s not only volunteering but also volunteerism, and knowing the difference between both is important, in addition to the pros and cons of each option.
There is a lot more to the differences to volunteering and volunteerism than meets the eye, which is why taking the time to get to grips with what each of these things actually means is so worthwhile. For everything that you need to know about the ins and outs of these two similar but slightly different kinds of travelling to help others, read on.
What is volunteerism?
As a rule of thumb, volunteerism programs are usually run as part of a larger vacation program, and act as just one small part of a trip away. The overall trip may include excursions and day trips throughout it, including days spent volunteering at local organizations.
These kinds of programs are designed for people who want to volunteer abroad and do their bit but don?t have the time to spend a longer period volunteering, and therefore find this option a more practical one.
An example of this kind of trip is planning a two-week spring break which includes a range of activities, such as working at a school that is deprived, as well as going on safari and other excursions.
These trips are available for both groups of people and individuals, so are ideal for anyone or any group. You choose a trip based on your interests and passions, such as if you like animals, you choose an option that involves working with animals.
As part of volunteerism, usually, it costs a fee to get involved in a project. Whereas, with volunteering, often it comes at no cost and volunteers are treated to free accommodation and board – AKA are given three meals a day. With volunteerism, you have the option of selecting where you stay and how nice the accommodation is, as well as where you eat, which is not usually the case with volunteering.
Volunteerism companies don?t tend to by non-for-profit organizations; they tend to be companies that function as a business. Whereas, when it comes to volunteering, projects tend to be organized and run by non-profit organizations. These projects are set up to make money as well as to give money and assistance back to struggling communities abroad.
Another difference between volunteering and volunteerism is the fact that the company running the program likes to make sure that their volunteers have had a good experience and have enjoyed their time giving back to others. The aim of voluntarism is to allow people who otherwise would not get the chance to expand their horizons, the chance to do so. Companies that run these trips like to make sure that their customers come back from their trips feeling like they have done something unique. They want their customers to go home with photos of them with school children, building properties, or working with wild animals. You won?t be expected to work too hard, just enough to make you feel like you did your part and contributed to the cause.
What are the benefits of volunteerism?
Compared to volunteering, voluntourism comes with the benefit of not needing any experience to take part. The kind of work that is available for voluntourism so does not tend to require any special skills, which means that anyone is able to volunteer as part of a trip. For longer-term volunteering projects, usually, you have to have a background in the area that you want to focus on.
However, for volunteerism that is not the case – anyone with any background can choose to take part in a wide range of volunteer projects. Whether you dream of taking part in a construction, conservation or teaching project, by choosing to do so as part of a volunteerism program, you won?t be required to have a background in the area that you plan on volunteering in. When it comes to long-term volunteering, often a degree of extensive background in the field is required for your application to be a success.
Instead, people volunteering as part of a vacation are expected t have a have-a-go attitude and be willing to work hard and give each task their all. They are expected to be open to trying new things and should be willing to experiment with all manner of different tasks and not be afraid to try new things. With this kind of program, it is always guaranteed that there will be someone with the appropriate set of skills supervising any work that is completed.
What is volunteering?
Volunteering abroad is more of a longer-term thing that volunteerism and projects can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, or even for a year, depending on what the project is and how much work it will take. Usually, when it comes to volunteering, it is considered that the longer you are able to stay for, the better, as the more work you will be able to complete.
Most volunteering projects require a minimum stay of two to three months so that there is time to undertake any necessary training and see the project through. Of course, for experts in a field, there are shorter projects that can be completed in just a few weeks. However, for unskilled volunteers this is not the case – projects are always much longer than this.
Most volunteering projects require their recruits to have the skills and knowledge needed to be able to add value to a project. Whether that is experience working in a certain field or a degree in a specific area, it doesn’t?t matter, all that matters is that the experience is there and can be relied upon.
Then there is the fact that depending on where you plan on volunteering, speaking the language could be vital. That is why some volunteering projects are only open to people who speak the language, as learning takes far too long.
The aim of volunteering is to help the on-site team to help achieve their goals and complete their projects as quickly as possible. There is not always enough manpower to do this, which is where volunteers come in.
What are the benefits of volunteering?
Often there is no charge for volunteering, although sometimes organizations to request that volunteers fund-raise a set amount before they join the program to put towards their keep.
By taking the time to fund raise, volunteers are made to learn more about the organization that they are volunteering for, and are able to gain a stronger amount of knowledge which will help them to be more of a useful tool once they arrive.
A benefit of taking part in a volunteer program is the fact that most programs request that their volunteers take the time to take part in an intensive orientation and training program. The skills learnt during this are transferable and can look amazing on a resume or when applying for further volunteering opportunities in the future.
As part of the training that you will undertake, you will be introduced to the culture and etiquette of the place where you will be living and working, and will, throughout your stay, get time to spend with people from the local community. By understanding why the project is important and how it will aid the local community, you can ensure that you are able to offer as much help as possible and feel passionate about the work that you are doing.
A big part of many volunteering roles is training up new recruits from the local community to take your place. The idea of volunteer projects is to share skills with the local community and teach them how to lead a more sustainable life. You don?t want to do everything for them forever; the aim is to slowly, over time, teach them how to take care of themselves and their community.
Unlike a volunteerism program, a volunteer program is a vital part of an organization. Non-profit organizations want their volunteers to learn new skills and enjoy their team volunteering, but ultimately the goal is to improve the lives of local communities, giving them the skills that they need to learn to thrive, rather than just survive.
The long and the short of it is that volunteerism usually combines a vacation with a little volunteering work, nothing too strenuous, just enough to make you feel part of the cause. Whereas, volunteering is where you work alongside an organization and community to help them to develop a more sustainable way of life.
Visit https://www.volunteerindiaispiice.com for more details.