Reg Charity 1143560
Thought Piece

Why Africa Needs Volunteers

By Mikey
Successfully sending volunteers abroad for 10 years

Africa is a remarkable destination and when you volunteer in Africa you get to discover that first-hand. Africa has so much to offer visitors that it surpasses the guides and images you see online and on social media! You’ll be wowed by the landscape, taken aback by the native wildlife and truly feel the love from the locals. Regardless of wealth, or lack of it, there’s always something special to be found. 

When you arrive to do voluntary work abroad in Africa, you will immediately realise that the locals are some of the most welcoming people you’re ever likely to encounter. They are well aware of the good work volunteers do, along with the benefits charity workers possess that moves the community in the right direction. If you have a desire to travel to Africa to assist those in the world who most need it, rest assured that joining a volunteer programme is a tried and tested way to make a real difference. 

Volunteering overseas has moved on quite a bit and it’s not about changing ways and taking people out of their traditional and values for something else, it’s about connecting with people from different cultures in order to learn from them and then adapt so that you can support them. As a charity worker, you’ll be able to build on the work that is already being carried out by locals as well as continuing the amazing work that volunteers before you have achieved.  

Whether you’re in Kenya, Ghana or Tanzania, you will get to see how these communities survive on incredibly limited resources. Depending on the location, you will encounter people who are dealing with a constant lack of access to either water, food, education or a combination of all three. This is why volunteering is such a vital aspect in the lives of the communities in Africa because, without people like you, human needs would struggle to be met.  

There are many things that charity workers can do for African communities. Here are just a handful of examples. 

Set an Example

You have the ability to give the children you work with a perspective on the world around them that they may never have seen or heard of. You come from a country a long, long way from their home and by introducing these children to simple things such as new games, new ideas and new concepts can make a huge difference. A couple of simple, day-to-day examples of this include waiting to cross the road correctly, or picking up rubbish that you see when you’re out on the street. If you lead by example, children will mimic your behaviour. They look up to you and copy your behaviour, which subconsciously helps to give them an understanding of the importance of their actions. 

Bring Smiles to Faces

When you’re teaching games, giving children attention, and engaging in a positive way, you’re sure to find that smiles soon ensue! Local kids adore the interaction and it’s like making a new friend with every volunteer that they come into contact with. One of the best things about this is that it’s a two-way street; volunteers make new friends as well! Speak to any previous charity worker and they will be able to tell you about a child they had a positive connection or experience with. You might not be able to change the entire world, but that feeling, knowing you’ve positively impacted a child’s day is incomparable.  

An Essential Extra Pair of Hands 

Becoming a volunteer means you are available to provide essential assistance to stretched resources and limited supplies. Schools, medical centres and clinics, for example, all operate on a shoestring, so for volunteers to come in and take the some of the strain away and allow teachers and medical staff to do their job is worth its weight in gold! And when you can offer your own skills in these areas, it only serves to heighten your value.

Pay It Forward

When you return from your volunteering adventures, you will inevitably share your exciting stories and memories with the ones you care for most. Having the chance to spread this positivity is an extremely powerful way to inspire others to follow the same path as you. If you can shed some first-hand light on what it’s like being an overseas volunteer and all that goes with the experience, you can capture minds and motivate them to help in the developing world.  

Add Something to The Local Economy

Whenever you go to a market to pick up some food, hop on some form of transportation, or buy food at a local store, you are funding the community’s economy and that of the country. This means that their GDP (the number that conveys the worth of the output of a country in local currency) is boosted.  

No doubt, you will want to pick up some souvenirs and presents for your nearest and dearest while you’re away, and who better to get them from than a local who has spent time creating something unique and special?  

If you desire to volunteer in the future, be sure to check out our international volunteering programmes or call us on 0845 519 8469 to speak to an advisor.  



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