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The 6 Best Organizations For Volunteer Traveling

The 6 Best Organizations For Volunteer Traveling

Volunteering abroad is a noble undertaking that benefits all involved. Of course, the lives of the people being helped are affected in a tremendously positive way. Furthermore, volunteers can find satisfaction in knowing they have done their part to improve a part of the global community. Not only that, but they also get to explore an area of the world they otherwise would never have been able to see. Most organizations look for volunteers who specialize in areas such as education, recreation, health care, community building, or construction. If you’re looking to put some time and effort into volunteering in a foreign country, check out some of these organizations:

1. Global Vision International

Global Vision International (GVI) hosts projects all over the world that last from one week to a full year abroad. Most of the projects revolve around constructing homes and community buildings, animal care, and youth education. Through education of its volunteers, GVI hopes to increase global recognition of some of the hardships people across the world face on a daily basis. The most recent events featured are a community development project in Fiji and a Mediterranean Construction Discovery for Youth in Greece.

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2. Agape Volunteers

This UK-based organization focuses on helping those in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Tanzania through recreational and medical volunteering. Agape helps build and organize schools, orphanages, clinics, hospitals, and other community-based entities throughout developing and struggling nations. Agape is currently looking for wildlife volunteers in South Africa, as well as medical volunteers in Ghana.

3. Love Volunteers

Love Volunteers sends helpers to over 30 countries all over the world for up to six months at a time. The organization boasts over 120 community development programs that focus on social and recreational organization, as well as construction and community rehabilitation. Love Volunteers now has workers teaching in schools in Tanzania, and has organized a special education program in Nepal.

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4. Volunteer Eco Students Abroad (VESAbroad)

VESAbroad offers volunteers the chance to visit South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, or the Fiji Islands in search of community service opportunities. Volunteer periods for only last 2 weeks, and although the organization focuses on opportunities for college students ages 18-24, anyone willing to help is welcome. Currently, you can get started with VESA through its Fiji Islands Discovered program, which focuses on academics, health, and hygiene, or in the South Africa Unearthed program, which focuses on the health and safety of South Africa’s youth.

5. International Volunteer HQ

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) allows volunteers to spend anywhere from one to 24 weeks in a variety of areas within Africa, Asia, and Latin America. IVHQ provides a variety of services to these areas, ranging from healthcare and education to community restoration. Currently, IVHQ is hosting English and French teachers in Morocco, medical professionals who wish to educate Kenyans about the dangers of HIV and AIDS, construction workers looking to restore the temples of Sri Lanka, and healthcare providers looking to volunteer in Guatemala.

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6. A Broader View Volunteers

With over 175 programs in 22 different countries, A Broader View Volunteers (ABVV) truly does offer a broad choice of volunteering opportunities. ABVV focuses mainly on providing developing countries with assistance as needed, and will send specialists to specific areas depending on immediate concerns. Although the focus of ABVV depends on the situation, many of the opportunities center around wildlife conservation and youth education. In Ecuador, ABVV is currently hosting Quito Hippotherapy, a rehabilitation program requiring patients to care for horses throughout their therapy. In Peru, ABVV focuses on environmental conservation. Their program in Columbia looks to improve the country’s social welfare program, and in Uganda ABVV has introduced a Maternity and Midwife Nursing program.

Featured photo credit: Travel/fdecomite via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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