Volunteering for work overseas

It is a major decision to work overseas as a volunteer in a less well developed region of the world. Nevertheless in the vast majority of cases it is a decision which is never regretted as it exposes the volunteer to a life which they would otherwise never have known and it almost always helps to mould the individual into a different person – perhaps one who is less self-centred and more aware of what is going on in the ‘real world’ out there.

The volunteer needs to recognise that they will never ‘save the world’ but that their small input may have distinct life changing consequences for some of the individuals who cross their path. The other crucial issue which needs to be recognised is the fact that in almost every case the volunteer gains far more from the experience than they themselves put into the work and that they learn tremendously from those they will have contact with day by day.

In our 21st century world we hear that ‘patience is a virtue’ but it is not until we get to a place like central Africa where we see it in action! Those considering becoming a volunteer who display little of this essential attribute should perhaps reconsider their calling and look into another avenue for their lives.

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