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> Volunteer Work in Africa?
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Josh
post Sep 25 2014, 12:02 AM
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HELLO EVERYONE!

Hope you're all good.

Basically I'm going through an early midlife crisis and was wondering if the lovely people of BuzzJack could help me out?!

So I'm due to start my new job next week but I'm seriously doubting if it's even what I want to do anymore. For anyone who doesn't know I work in media and I'm begining to lose faith and interest in it all; I want to do something that actually makes a difference and this brings me onto wanting to do volunteer work in Africa.

Now, I don't have a clue where to start or how to go about this. Has anyone here ever carried out volunteer work abroad? Or has any experience of this? I'm completely stumped and would love all of the advice that I can get!..
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Qassändra
post Sep 25 2014, 12:25 AM
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It's a bit WHITE SAVIOUR COMPLEX. Things like going over to build schools/wells in Africa have become a bit of a useless self-satisfying industry, with workers actually being employed to rebuild them after the volunteers have left because they're inevitably quite shoddy quality. It doesn't make much of a difference, you just get to feel like you did.

Have you considered volunteering for a more local charity? That's the kind of area where you actually CAN make a bit of a difference, and you get to feel all the MORE smug for not being a w***er who needed to have an adventure to feel like they made a difference.
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Winter Wombatlan...
post Sep 25 2014, 01:45 AM
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In the summer, I did some volunteer work abroad in Australia in conservation. It mainly consisted of planting new trees and weeding in national parks and forests etc. it sounds tedious, but it was really fun when you got to do it, I was with a conservation company who also paid for my food/accommodation while I was there, I think the best thing about it was knowing you are at least trying to do some good and not just there for a holiday of a lifetime with some bit on the side to make it look worthwhile when it isn't, that definitely wasn't what I came to do, no matter how much I wanted to see Australua - They were a proper conservation company and not a holiday organisation and it was mainly locals that were there. It wasn't strenuous work as we were only volunteers after all but we did have a target and a lot of the time, we met it. I'm very aware it won't make a huge difference, but ultimately we did the best we could and would do more harm than good. It's nature's decision if any of the trees we planted survive really!

Volunteering with children or doing things in third world countries does sound appealing at first, but I've also read some quite scary things about voluntourism, coupled with what Tirren said above, it did put me off the prospect of it. I took part in the world record attempt for most trees planted with lots of local schools and community groups and though the record was beaten (I think), ultimately my company weren't that happy as a lot of people/children were not planting the trees properly and not a lot of them will survive overall, it kinda just takes away from that elation that you've not done any good sad.gif

Sorry for the essay laugh.gif Basically, I'd say if you really want to make a difference rather than just get a holiday, just look at what you're applying to do and who you're doing it with, and focus on one that's more about the volunteering than the experience and it may do more good than harm. I'd go with conservation rather than community myself, There are opportunities of proper hands-on volunteering that are free as well and make much more of a difference, bit harder to get for internationals I guess.


This post has been edited by Chez Wombat: Sep 25 2014, 01:52 AM
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jjake
post Sep 25 2014, 02:24 AM
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jenny from human resources
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josh do it, you have more guts than me tbh

compare an office to living out there in the WORLD

life is so short, look back in 50 years from now, what would make you more proud?

remember life is short and just DO IT
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Tyler
post Sep 25 2014, 04:19 AM
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No wonder there's panic in this industry, I mean please...
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Jakes post really just inspired me so much. Seriously.

True.
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ionderella
post Sep 25 2014, 05:17 AM
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ya ya ya i am lorde
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Do it gurl~ I would if I could tbh

(just don't go to the countries with Ebola and stuff sad.gif )
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