Travel, Adventure, Make a difference are a few words that describe the VSO volunteer program . VSO a 50 odd year old charity primarily works with international volunteers to tackle poverty and disadvantage. What this means that they recruit volunteers across the world and send them on VSO assignments in developing countries. These assignments are with small and medium sized NGOs who are looking for volunteers to help them build their capacities
What is really cool is that all expenses in these volunteer assignments are paid for. You get return ticket, medical insurance, stipend. Off course you have to qualify to be a volunteer. VSO normally looks for volunteers who have at-least 3-5 years of work experience.
How do I know ? Because I was a VSO volunteer in Sierra Leone in 2008. I worked with a farmer’s collecting and helped them build organizational systems and processes. It was an experience of a lifetime. Work was one part of it. The other bit was the opportunity to travel to a new country where normally I would not travel to. And you get integrated with the locals, you get to meet volunteers from other countries, you make friends, learn local culture, food. Its a never ending list.
I must add here that the living conditions are modest as you are going to work in developing country and that too in places where lots of modern living comforts are non-existent. There are days when you worry about getting water and getting malaria. And there are days when you wish you were in your home back and enjoying the little comforts of life.
No matter how the whole thing turn our for you one thing is for sure. The experience will change your forever. I for instance realized all the clutter that was in my life, so many things that I had but I never needed.
So yeah, its fun, its adventure, it can be difficult at certain times. But that’s the whole package. Its an experience of a life time.I remember one of the adverts of VSO that actually got them an award, it says ” You will work for 40 years; make two of them memorable. Volunteer overseas with VSO.
The Hitopadesha say ” Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” ( the whole world is one single family). In the trues sense of these words ” The world is calling you.. the question is ” will you go ?
For more information visit www.ivoindia.org