Attending a volunteering program and finishing it is just one small piece of the big pie. Volunteering is not that complex, but those who are willing to participate should know that there are a couple of responsibilities they should fulfill. It doesn’t matter if you’re a volunteer Nepal or Fiji needs—with every chance you get to help others for free, comes also an opportunity for you to widen your perspective and consider taking significant responsibilities as a volunteer.
Fundamentals of Volunteering
Volunteering, as it increasingly becomes popular these days in Australia, is overseen through strict guidelines by Volunteering Australia. International Australian volunteers, on the other hand, are managed by non-profit organisations’ internal policies and the Australians Volunteers for International Development (AVID). Even though they pretty much cover all areas that need to be developed, sometimes there are loose, soft areas; and in those areas, exist an array of possibilities like crime and extortion on both volunteers and unfortunate communities.
It’s the government’s and non-profit organisation’s responsibility to take care of the rights of the volunteers and those who will receive their help. Given that, volunteers also have responsibilities to take before embarking on international volunteer opportunities.
Before you become a volunteer Nepal needs or a volunteer in Fiji, read on to find out what you should know first:
Opening your eyes to current events and possibilities
Australian Volunteers’ Trouble with Cambodia orphanages
In August this year, Australian volunteers were in hot water regarding Cambodian orphanages. Canberra’s parliamentary committee received reports from Cambodia that can be described as human trafficking and modern slavery. The surges of volunteers from Australia to Cambodia are capitalised by human traffickers and label it as Orphan Tourism. Children whose parents are promised with their education are sent off to orphanages and paraded as orphans, mooching off the donations and support of willing Australian volunteers. The sad thing about this is that if this continues, it would be as if Australian volunteers are paying child traffickers; on the other hand, the good news is that most of the Australian volunteers are now aware of this.
Partly, this could be blamed on poor government monitoring in both countries. Australia has Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID), but with this phenomenon, it seems that more effort, security, and assessment needs to be incorporated in regulating the Australian international volunteering industry. As for the developing countries who lack proper regulation on volunteer tourism, immediate action on the matters must be done.
What You Should Do
As a volunteer, it is your responsibility to oversee the things that lie ahead in your volunteering program. The list of activities, courses, and tourist attractions are basic—volunteers should at least know a thing or two about the current events, volunteering regulations, and limitations that they will encounter in their volunteering program in a certain country.
Knowing what happened in Cambodia, it is crucial for an aspiring intern or volunteer to be wary of what they are dealing with. What’s even more important is to affiliate with legit and certified non-profit organisations and companies who offer volunteering courses and programs abroad.
If you are planning to be a volunteer Nepal needs, for instance, make sure you’re associating with non-profit organisations who have been tried and tested in the international volunteering field for years. Also look for accessibility and transparency in their projects, achievements, and reviews. With this, it’s easy for you, the volunteer, to assess where your effort, time, and money are being spent.