Thousands of Canadians volunteer overseas every year. Some seek personal growth, some want to satisfy an urge to see the world, and some want to give something back to humanity. Whatever the reason, the experience is largely shaped by the country chosen by the volunteer. Here are the five best for first-timers.
Mongolia is an intriguing country. Situated south of Russia and with China to its south, east and west, it has remained something of an enigma. Approximately 45% of the country’s population lives in the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, with the rest making a living as nomadic herders.
In the city centre there are many volunteer placements available, from teaching to care to medical projects like nursing and midwifery. If you´d prefer to be further away from the city, there are Nomad Projects you can get involved with. On these projects you will live and work with some of Mongolia´s nomads and learn about these unique people, their ancient traditions as well as gain experience caring for animals such as cows and yaks.
As the world’s second most populated country, India inevitably has its fair share of problems, but it is a fascinating country to visit. Whether it’s addressing the low literacy rate or working to save the rainforest, volunteers have a number of appealing options open to them.
For those who’d like to work in India Projects Abroad international volunteer programs offer a range of placements. Perhaps the most rewarding, given India’s high number of street children, is working as a care volunteer. This requires no qualifications or previous experience – just the desire to help and the willingness to try.
3. South Africa
Volunteering in South Africa is an incredibly rewarding experience. Projects here often involve working with disadvantaged African school children. There are options for doing care work with children, or you can teach English as foreign language. There are also many work placements on wildlife conservation projects in South Africa´s beautiful capital Cape Town.
Despite being South America’s second smallest country, Ecuador contains an incredible amount of natural diversity from beaches to mountains to rainforests, and the locals are warm and friendly. Volunteer projects can include care work with children in day care centres as well as teaching opportunities. There are also many projects that contribute to biodiversity conservation like reforestation.
Thailand, the so-called land of smiles, is a fantastic place for volunteers to make a temporary home. Its beautiful beaches, exotic food and golden temples as well as the friendly people make it an excellent place to spend some time. Placements here include teaching, care and conservation work.