Almost all people who have traveled to Africa feel the need to return. What better way than by volunteering to help those less fortunate than you? You can make a difference easily by simply sharing time and interests with an orphan, visiting the elderly and sharing photos and tales with them, or by helping them to learn English. And when you return to the US you will help your neighbors and friends to understand and be more culturally aware of what the rest of the world has to deal with. Your enthusiasm will inspire others and motivate them to be aware of and help others around them.
If you accept a volunteer job in Africa, do not expect to be paid. You will most likely end up paying a fee to whatever organization you join, which will cover your housing, flights and food. Costs will be less if you went through an organization rather than if you were doing this on your own. Sometimes volunteers raise funds through their church to cover some of their expenses.
When you become a volunteer, you will have access to first hand information on social and economic problems such as poverty, hunger, malnutrition, AIDS and other diseases, unemployment and the erosion of the environment. You will be asked to contribute to Africa development.
Volunteers to work with AIDS, both teaching and nurturing, are desperately needed. AIDS is a frightening disease and has killed over three million people in Africa. It is said that 83% of AIDS-related deaths can be accounted to Africa. This horrible disease is still spreading in most African countries, despite efforts to educate and provide drugs for its victims. A large part of Africa suffers from poverty and malnutrition. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has hugely exacerbated the problems facing the people of this continent, and you can understand how great their need is. Your help is needed now.
Volunteer Jobs in Africa can be quite an adventure. You might be wondering what to expect if you accept a volunteer job in Africa. Well, housing will be very basic; you would live with a local family in the manner they are accustomed to. You probably won’t have running water or electricity. You will be expected to dress and behave in a manner acceptable to the local people. As in small towns in this country, life won’t be as fast paced as you might be used to. Expect to have a number of problems. You will need to be patient and flexible. You will have to deal with different food and water than you have had at home. There is a good chance that you may get sick if you are there for more than a few weeks. Malaria is nasty, but the local doctors are well versed in dealing with it. Whatever organization you work with will have informed you about maintaining and protecting your health and what medicines and precautions you should be taking.
There are many organizations that offer both short term and longer programs for volunteer jobs abroad. You can go online to find them, and there are many choices. You can choose from Kenya, South Africa, East Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Morocco, and Tanzania. You can be there from three weeks to twelve or even longer. You can work with the Masai, in an orphanage, teach in a school, or work in a medical volunteer program, which is perfect for nurses, doctors, and other health-related professionals. There are counseling and feeding programs. Or work at AIDS clinics, caring for the sick and teaching their families how to protect themselves, and teaching them the importance of sanitation. And don’t forget that there is also construction work, conservation work, dolphin research, literacy, social work, and even a lion rehabilitation project.
Volunteers are encouraged and welcomed from all over the world and all walks of life. Come alone or as a couple or with your whole family. Church groups, students and professionals are needed. Any skills and talents are helpful. Maybe you just need a break from the life you are living right now.
To sum things up, Africa is in great need. There are many rewarding volunteer jobs available in Africa. HIV/AIDS education and awareness is among the most necessary of volunteer jobs in South Africa, and is designed to teach these people about the disease and how it spreads. Only you, as a volunteer can help to squash this epidemic.