“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
The year 2020 has taught us not to take life for granted. As the entire world came to a stand-still, we learned to value every little thing, more than ever. While being quarantined at home for months, I often used to think about those who aren’t as blessed as us – how are they coping up with the situation? – this thought kept nudging me every now and then.
Well, honestly, I know that it’s going to be a tough ride in the world to volunteer meaningfully after the Covid-19 pandemic, but I would still take this opportunity to encourage you – to step out of your comfort zones and make a difference in someone’s life. Trust me when I say this, it’ll bring you unparalleled joy knowing that you could add some happiness and love to the world.
Step out to follow your passion
“Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. These actions shape and mold the present into a future of which we can all be proud.” – Helen Dyer
Like I said earlier, the last few months had been extremely tough for all of us. But now that the world is slowly healing, you can choose to volunteer for a cause that motivates you. You might be passionate about saving the environment or engage actively in the preservation of marine life, or maybe you love to spend time with children and care to teach them for a better life. No matter what your passion is, you can just follow your heart and lend a hand for a cause that you strongly feel for. Believe in yourself and know that you are good enough to make an impact and there are several opportunities where you can help to solve some serious social or environmental problems.
Let your passion drive your actions and once you sign up for a volunteer program abroad, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction that will keep you motivated – and you never know, you might end up inspiring others to follow your footsteps.
Widen your social network as you connect with others
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller
Research has shown that the pandemic led to a rise in the cases of anxiety & depression among millennials. Needless to say, we as humans need to connect with others, as such connections make a positive impact on our mental health. When you’ll travel abroad to volunteer, you’d have an opportunity to meet a bunch of like-minded people from other parts of the world, who share similar passions and beliefs. You’ll learn to make friends out of strangers and that’ll lead to a rewarding experience.
As you’ll work together with others, your communication skills will improve and your confidence will be strengthened. You’ll get to learn new things from your peers, share your thoughts and ideas, and together, and enjoy working together. In most cases, these connections could also help you in the future, helping you in finding work opportunities that’d align with your passion.
An opportunity to gain first-hand experience while learning new things
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” – Muhammad Ali
When you’ll volunteer abroad, you’ll always be guided by a team of professionals in the host country, who have been living and working there for a long time. Working with them will help you to learn more about the problems that exist there and push you to find solutions. Thus, you’ll get to embrace challenges on a daily basis and figure your way out of them, in a way that makes an impact in the lives of the people you’re working for.
For example, if you choose to be a medical volunteer in a developing country in the post-pandemic times, you might see that the vaccines haven’t reached there yet or medical facilities are not at par. Often, the staff is inadequate and the number of patients is way more. Assisting the local doctors and nurses, you’ll slowly know how to handle the situation, how to communicate to the people, and ensure that you can provide the best possible care to them. Volunteering abroad for a meaningful cause is the most practical way to help others while gaining first-hand work experience, in an international set-up.
This is your chance to build your confidence
“Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.” – John F. Kennedy
We all know how scary it feels while going for a new job, or meeting new people in an unknown circle. But volunteering abroad will help you to break the ice in no time and make you feel confident in any situation. I still remember the first day while I was in Kenya, volunteering at a childcare center – I had no idea how I’d manage all the toddlers living there; whether they’d like me or not. I was unsure of how I could have helped them, but I realized that going with the flow is the trick. I felt loved like never before and it seemed that those kids have known me since forever!
To be honest, one of the greatest benefits of volunteering is that it helps in boosting your confidence and makes you take up any challenge. When you feel passionate about a cause, you’d tend to give your best to make things work – and slowly, you’d find a way of achieving your goals, no matter what. Now that you’re sitting at home and contemplating about volunteering abroad, you might not feel confident enough, but once you hit the roads, you’ll feel a change within yourself – an urge to serve for a greater good – and that would bring you the sense of confidence.
A chance to help others and share some love
“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
It has been really inspiring to know that so many people stepped out of their comfort zone and signed up to volunteer globally during the Covid-19 pandemic. I feel happy that so many of my friends cared to distribute food and medicines, as well as other essentials to others who had lost their jobs as well as to the migratory workers who were stuck in awful conditions. I know that many of us wanted to do something, but couldn’t. Well, now that things are getting better, shouldn’t we all do our bit to volunteer and help the people. We have proved that people genuinely care in our communities and seen an endless amount of kindness. It would be great if it paved the way to make volunteering a more common practice.
It would be really nice if you care to spend a couple of weeks volunteering at a food bank, serving those living in poverty, or working at a disabled care center where people need a little support to carry on with their daily chores.
This pandemic has taught us to not take life for granted – and I believe it’s time that we all do our part and help those who need us.