If you are planning to volunteer in Africa, no doubt there are plenty of questions running through your mind. To help you address some of these queries and to decide whether or not volunteering in Africa is right for you, we have put together a check-list of questions you may want to ask yourself before booking your programme.
What do I want to get out of my time volunteering?
Out of all the questions you are going to ask yourself, this is possibly the most important. Whilst there are obvious rewards, choosing to volunteer in Africa can be stressful in both the planning and whilst away, which is why it is important to think about what you want out of your time as a volunteer. Is it to gain relevant experience to put on a CV for future university/job applications? Is it work on social skills? It is to take a break from working life? Or is it simply because you want to do something valuable during the summer holidays? All these are perfectly good answers which can individually help decide which volunteer programme will suit your time, skills and ultimate goal.
What skills do I have?
Realising what skills you do or do not have is also important to booking a volunteer programme. But don’t just ask yourself, ask friends, work colleagues, teachers and professors what they think your skills are to help get an idea as to where your
strengths and weaknesses lay. This way you can chose a project that will not only benefit from your skills, but can also help improve the areas you are less confident in, e.g. communication.
Why do I have to pay to volunteer?
Although aware that the fee covers expenses such as accommodation, food and some travel, prospective volunteers are put off by the seemingly excessive costs of volunteer programmes. But by being a volunteer you are not only donating your time and skills, but also cash that goes straight into the project itself, helping to keep the charity or organisation running after you are gone by paying for supplies and training as well as jobs for local communities.
How much money/time do I have?
Knowing your budget and how long you want to volunteer is important when it comes to booking a volunteer programme. Bespoke African volunteering programmes from the likes of Amanzi Travel help customise your ideal project to match not only your skills, but also your money and time, with placements running from between 2 weeks and 3 months or even longer.
Do you have another question? Let us know in the comments below!