As a volunteer or intern abroad, and with a creative drive and some self-initiative you can contribute to the local community of your host country in a variety of ways, even beyond the actual activities in your host organization. Here are some examples of previous participants of our programs:
From our point of view, the contact with people in your host country is one of the most enriching experiences during a volunteer placement or internship abroad: Through them, you will get to know the local way of working, communication and thinking and learn first hand what people in your host country are interested in, how they feel, how they act, and what moves them.
Here are some current examples of local involvement of our participants of our programs:
Children are often a door-opener to new cultures. The participants in our sea turtle and environmental protection project in Zanzibar have approached the community in Nungwi though local children and an afternoon filled with games and sports on the beach.
The concept is quite simple: volunteers and children paint pictures in the sand and guess the answers of each other’s paintings, both in Kiswahili and English. In the end, children and volunteers taught each other sports exercises.
What a great idea for both sides to learn a new language and a wonderful way to get involved with people in your host country!
Our participant Walter who worked as a volunteer at the Village Community Banks at Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, has also had a brilliant idea:
With his background knowledge in graphical design and finance, Walter did not only support his own volunteer project, but also designed logos for other NGOs or helped them implement their business plans:
“My time in Tanzania was both unforgettable and enjoyable – it was a blast! Although, I was only planning to work with KIVINET/VICOBA, I ended up working with about 6 NGOs; ranging from environmental related to educational. Ultimately, I worked on everything from business plan development to creating logos. Also, was able to secure some funds from US to buy school supplies for children and replace rusted/leaky roofs on the outskirts of Moshi. Sometimes I only slept like 2 hours in three days, but almost never felt tired due to the great atmosphere, African sun and the great people I met. I am still planning to do some work remotely and continue to stay in touch.“
We would like to sincerely thank Walter for his dedication and initiative!
What ideas do you have to contribute to your local community during your stay abroad? We are looking forward to your comments and suggestions!