Volunteering in Africa

 

There is a wealth of different opportunities available for individuals to volunteers their skills and time in Africa. Not only will time spent there be an amazing travel experience and a strong resume builder, it will also do some real good in an area of the world that needs help.  The following blog will provide some information about many of the realities, challenges, and logistics of volunteering abroad in Africa.

Getting a wage or not

Depending upon the organization and the skill set that your bring forward there is a possibility of true volunteer work, with no payment or cost of living and travel costs covered, or partially paid volunteer work. Often jobs that last for less than a year incur the cost of volunteering upon the volunteer while jobs that take more than a year occasionally provide a cost of living stipend. Remember the wage, if applicable, is only secondary the real reward is making a difference in Africa and doing something of true importance during your vacation.

passport2Things to expect while volunteering 

Conditions

Often many volunteering opportunities are set in rural area where running water and electricity may not be available. Expect that housing may be very basic.

Cultural norms

Working closely with local populations volunteers will need to adapt to local customs of dress and behavior. Generally the pace of life in many African nations is slower, in particular in many more traditional based rural areas. Volunteers will have to expect that their will be glitches in the organizations they work for.

Health

After a few weeks in Africa, in particular in Sub Saharan Africa, the chances of contracting malaria or bliharzia increases. There may also be some initial concerns getting used to the food and water. If health issues occur be sure to quickly contact local doctors and nurses who will have lots of experience with local maladies.

Chances for Personal growth

Volunteering in Africa gives those that volunteer an amazing chance to grow profoundly. Many volunteers say that the way they look at life has changed greatly after they are finished volunteering.

Work Permits in Africa

Depending on the nature of the volunteer work that an individual may be doing they may require a work permit for the African country they are in. Similar to applying for a permit in Europe or the United States the individual will have to make a formal request to receive the permit. Of note, many African countries suffer from high unemployment so they try to hold jobs for locals over foreigners in many cases. With this in mind, don’t feel hurt if a request for an African work permit is denied.

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