9 Volunteers Who are Making a Difference Across the Globe

“My volunteer experience was one of those things that I can talk about for the remaining days of my life and that wouldn’t be a lot. If someone asks me what is the most selfless thing I have  done for someone, I’ll  say: Well, I volunteered.”

This is what I have to say about my volunteering experience as a teacher in Vietnam.

This is just one of those amazing and powerful stories being written down every year, every day and every second. But there are so many others which are still unheard of. Each of them has created an impact, which consistently shouts through the irresistible smiles of people they have left behind.

All around the world, helping a stranger continues to be the most common way to give.

According to UN’s Annual Volunteering Annual Survey Report of 2016, 57% of volunteers work in international organizations and contribute to the SDGS.

Here are the goals that people most engage with:

My experience in Vietnam was also related to a goal: Quality Education.

Here are some Volunteer Stories that will make you wish to get involved as well:

1. This is Jyoti. She volunteered in Jakarta, Indonesia through AIESEC in June 2017.

She contributed to “Quality Education”, by participating as an English teacher in a local school.

volunteer working in Indonesia

“I think everyone should volunteer at least once in their lifetime. It did a lot for me. I knew I was a part of a very positive change and that was evident each and every day.

I remember when I was leaving, my students kept saying things I had taught them. It was the most beautiful feeling of my life.”

2. Jennifer, from the Netherlands, volunteered in Indonesia as an English Teaching, in January 2017.

She worked with a co-volunteer from Poland, together they impacted kids from different areas in a summer camp.

We had the opportunity to come up with our own ideas for the classes. So we both tried to be as creative as possible. 

testimonial of volunteer who worked in Indonesia

 

We also made Dutch and Indonesian food, played music together, listened to English songs and painted with the students.

This project taught me a lot about how to look at things from a different perspective. I used to have a lot of conversation in English, about all kind of topics.

It also made me think in a more creative way, thinking out of the box by coming up with different kind of lessons everyday. I think this will help me in the future, looking at things through different glasses.

 

 

You can read more about her exchange in the blog post she wrote.

3. Maren, from Germany, volunteered in Sri Lanka, on the Project Earth 1.0, in March 2017.

I noticed that most of the children and the teachers were somehow touched by realizing, that we, the project members, have taken time for them and to think about Sri Lanka.”

volunteer working in Sri Lanka

Maren went to rural schools and taught people about sustainability. At the end of the project, she was thrilled to see her students share what sustainability means to them and how they can take action.  

4. Shril Shah, from the Usha Pravin Gandhi College of Management, Mumbai found it in his AIESEC Internship in Vienna, in January 2017

“There are internships which are slogfests. There are those which are routine, asking you to surrender eight hours a day to polish a seat in an insular office – and then there are those which bring you to the edge of your comfort zone, push you beyond and leave you with unforgettable life lessons.”

volunteer working in Vienna, Austria

“In Vienna,  the students were regular school children who had a good and healthy standard of living. My job was to make them aware of the situation all around the world. I had to make them realize how lucky they and why they should contribute globally to help those who are not that lucky.

Creating awareness about global realities and urging them to take up responsibilities as citizens of the world, was indeed a fulfilling experience.”

You can read more about her experience here – Shrill’s Internship Experience

5. Chloe from Singapore volunteered in Cluj – Napoca, Romania in July 2017.  The Project was called, “ Discover Rural.”

“As part of the project, we volunteers were sent to two different schools located two nearby towns outside of Cluj-Napoca to teach English and impart knowledge on the sustainable development goals to children and young adults, aged 7-18.”

volunteer working in Romania

This was mainly done through the introduction of their respective local cultures and through the use of very simple English, due to the language barrier.

“We planned our class activities such that they would be able to cater to the respective language proficiency of our students.  In order to deliver our lessons to younger children with lower language proficiency, we tried to expose them to the simpler SDGs through simple tasks, such as saving water.”

She writes about her experience in her blog – Milking Cows and Chasing Chickens

6. Haneesa, a student from the National University of Singapore volunteered in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2017.

“Morocco was definitely an unconventional choice for me to do my Global Volunteer project, but throughout it all, I felt that the experience allowed for my personal growth and development.

Living in a completely new environment, where I had no knowledge of the main languages spoken in the country, I felt incredibly out of my comfort zone.


volunteer in Morocco

During six weeks in Morocco, she volunteered in the “Drive Morocco to Quality Education” project. Teaching English to children from age of 5 and even to adults in their mid-40s.

“It was the first time I felt so vital to someone else’s learning experience. I had never been a teacher before and there I was, providing these hopeful souls with the works of the English language.

They had their full trust in me to provide them with whatever they needed to succeed in their academic journey. It was a humbling experience, and the children and teenagers never failed to show me loads of appreciation.”

7. Isabella, from the University of  Melbourne, Australia, volunteered in Vietnam.

She writes about it in her blog – Why Volunteering overseas after my exams was the best decision in my Life !

volunteer with children in Vietnam

“As I was undergoing my exchange, it was easy to see how important quality education was for Vietnam.

Mere conversations with the founders of the non-profit organization I worked for led me to understand that quality English education is imperative for the youth in Vietnam.It opens up doors for better opportunities for them.”

Not only that, we can agree that quality education, in general, is vital to ensure that future generations can help
improve the conditions of their countries.  

“The sheer excitement of the students when we visited their classes to teach English, as well as the fact that so many students opted to take extra English classes outside of school, crystalised the notion that the youth in Vietnam value their educational opportunities.

They are driven by improving their skills. It was a very humbling experience being able to impact these students through teaching English.”

8. Micheal Pham, an undergraduate student and President of Ryerson University, Canada volunteered in Taiwan.

“I chose to go abroad to Taiwan and volunteer because I feel strongly that, in the landscape of today, the key to leadership is to understand the world around you.”

volunteer working in Taiwan

He chose to do AIESEC’s Global Volunteer exchange program, where he would volunteer for 6 weeks at an elementary school called Nan’an, located just north of Kaohsiung City in Taiwan.

“I taught English and created structured lesson plans for topics based on Diversity, Cross-Cultural Sharing, and Climate Change. My exchange focused on working towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of Quality Education (SDG #4) and Climate Action (SDG #13).

I was able to not only be a teacher to the students at the school, but I was a student myself, learning from the culture of Taiwan. I was able to take part in religious and traditional celebrations at school.”

9. Gvatsa, from Georgia, Volunteered in Italy, in a Quality Education Project.

“In a few weeks, I was able to communicate with dozens of students from about 15 to 20 years old, not only as a teacher but also as a friend.

We often did discussions, and it was interesting to understand the position of Italian youth on various issues. Soon I realized that their style of living and thinking was very similar to Georgians.”

volunteer working in Italy

“Besides the students, I had good relations with the teachers too.

It’s hard for anyone to find a common language, given that Barozzi High taught courses such as international relations, international law, marketing and foreign languages. In addition, we often talked about politics, economy, history and art.

They did not know anything about Georgia, the country’s history and culture, the Georgian-Russian relations.”

You can read her blog here – It was difficult to adapt, and more difficult to be independent

These are just a few amazing impactful stories, from people who decided it was time to take the leap.

There are many more out there!

If we give a chance for opportunities, all of us can spend some contributing towards a community which needs it the most.

If you think it’s your to volunteer like they did, you can learn more about our volunteer exchanges here.

To read next: “7 Ways to Volunteer Abroad on a Low Budget“.

Blog by- Khyati Ghai

6 Countries which Have an Easy Visa Process For Indians

When it comes to travelling internationally, we are all secretly pissed by the long documentation and visa processes.

What if I tell you that there are countries where you can not only travel but also volunteer, without the hustle of running around for the documents and without the long empty waiting hours?

And that your next impulse trip can actually be somewhere you would have thought it would take you years to go to? 

Here are the 6 countries you can go to without a visa – or with a visa on arrival.

NEPAL

Our closest neighbour requires no visa for Indias!

And did you know there are direct buses from Delhi to Kathmandu? It is a 31 to 34-hours trip away, but if you’re not up to the challenge, there are trains and flights available too.

Nepal mountains Himalayan

If you are looking for volunteer projects and living a local experience, AIESEC offers a variety of volunteering opportunities. Get experience in the fields of marketing, Entrepreneurship, Content Creation, Animation or contribute to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

VIETNAM

vietnam landscape

Vietnam has the option of E- VISA and Visa on Arrival for Indians, thereby reducing the time and efforts that are usually put in the documentation for a Visa. 

One of Southeast Asia’s most welcoming countries, Vietnam won’t offer you mesmerising scenery and pristine temples, but also geological wonders and mouth-watering food. There is no limitation on the period of the visit through the Visa on arrival or e-visa, and you can visit any city in Vietnam! 

LAOS

Laos, or the lonely planet, is located in South East Asia.

It is all about sunset trecks, fairytale landscape, and cascading waterfalls. The country you would want to escape to if you are looking for an off – the -beaten track country.

laos landscape, vountry with easy visa

Laos provides visa on arrival for Indian Citizens with a maximum fee of 40$. It’s a hustle free process, with just passport and visa on arrival form.

INDONESIA

Visa regulations and requirements for Indians were recently lifted by Indonesia. Indians can now visit Indonesia with an easy and extendable visa on arrival.

girl in bicycle in the air in Indonesia

This beautiful country is filled with nature and has a lot to offer to anyone who travels there.

“I’ve travelled to several countries in this world, and I always think that people from my country (Indonesians) are the nicest people in the world. But I changed my mind after I visited Sri Lanka. All of the people here are very nice and lovely! Wherever I go, all of the people are smiling at me sometimes I even feel tired that I have to smile all the time”

 – Tahlia,  from Indonesia

EGYPT

egypt is a country with easy visa

Egypt offers an e-visa to Indians, for a maximum period of 90 days. Many of our volunteers have previously visited Egypt and explore the richness of diversity, rare landscape and of course, the Nile.

“I stayed and worked there with people from more than over 30 different countries. These were not just people with a usual mindset, but a bunch of young people who believed that they were strong enough to create an impact on the world.

Before I left India, so many people used to tell me that Egypt is not safe and I might face many problems there. On my very first day there I realized that it is a country way more safe than we can think of.

From being stranded to breaking stereotypes. From changing what people think about India and Indians to discovering parts of Egypt that were beautiful beyond imagination. I’ve had it all. Sometimes, it is not just about the work, but all the beautiful experiences that come with being in a challenging environment.”

 – Pratibha,  did her 6 weeks internship in Egypt.

testimonial of girl who worked in Egypt

SRI LANKA

Being one of  India’s closest neighbouring countries, Sri Lanka offers an extendable e- visa facility.

Majority of the globe-trotters will agree that Sri Lanka is a union of all things wild and beautiful. You can find an infinity of wonderful activities there, from whale-spotting to sleeping in a tree house.

girl walking in the train line in Sri Lanka

AIESEC in Sri Lanka works on a wide variety of projects, like life below water, climate change, decent work and economic growth. 

Which of these countries would you like to visit next?

They’re all right there, waiting for you! AIESEC offers volunteer projects and short-term internships in each of these amazing destinations! Find out the opportunity for you.

Blog by- Khyati Ghai

10 Reasons to Volunteer

10 Reasons to Volunteer

According to a survey on youth and volunteering  conducted by dosomething.org it was highlighted that  :

“93 % of the youth says that they want to volunteer, but only a fraction of these actually take a step to make the change.”

So , what stops them ? It can be a lot of reasons. From the perspective of a young person usually there’s just so much to look forward to in their own lives . But then there are some who are always willing to create a better life for others and help in whatsoever manner possible.   

And the ones who make this choice, are the ones who don’t necessarily have the time , but the heart to give.

Like the saying goes : 

 “Those who can, do. Those who can do more, Volunteer.”

Here listed, are 10 amazing reasons to volunteer immediately, if you haven’t yet stood up for this adventure.

 

  1. Impact lives

 As cliche it might sound, make a difference. Volunteering has its own unique way of letting you know that you are a part of something bigger than yourself and if you look around there are always people and places that are seeking you out. It is all about making people happy with all the little things you do, and improving the quality of life everywhere.

Here’s an example how : Ekta_Volunteering Story

 

  1.  Take Responsibility

“ Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote for elections once a year ,   but when you volunteer, you vote everyday about the kind of community you want to live in.”

It is so easy to look around and point out at everything that is wrong with this world . But when you choose volunteering you make a decision to spend your time in making things right. And you make an effort to Volunteer for the kind of world you want to live in.

 

  1.  Explore your potential

If you are a person who aims at constantly bettering yourself and embracing challenges each and everyday , volunteering is the best platform to do that.

Only when you are faced with a diverse and challenging environment you get an opportunity to explore and recognize what your potential is. You might find yourself doing things you thought you were incapable of doing and succeeding in most of these pursuits.

Volunteering in Bulgaria

 

  1. Build a Community of People You Connect With

When you volunteer and decide to  step out of your comfort zone, you meet people who have been willing to do the same.  They can be your  co-workers or just people who you get to acquain.

 

  1.  Learn Lessons Outside Your Classroom

     Every person you meet is a new story. You get a chance to learn from other’s experiences and mistakes. You get to create your own story and make your own mistakes .Volunteering brings to you all the lessons you can never learn while sitting in a room.  

Volunteering Experience In Mauritius

 

To volunteer abroad, click on: www.aiesec.in/volunteer-abroad

 

  1.  Gift someone the Love and Attention They deserve

Teach the ones who don’t have the access to Education, educate someone who feels left behind and work for someone who does not have the resources to make things better for himself or around him.  Gift someone your time and affection , without expecting anything in return.

Volunteering In Milan

 

  1. Live A Local Experience

Anywhere you go, any place you volunteer you get to witness the culture and lifestyle that is embraced by the local majority in that place. You experience the best of diversity and cultural differences.

 

  1. It is Emotionally Fulfilling

“To fulfil yourself, fulfill others first.”         

Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and you are always willing to find it’s meaning in everything that you do.  It gives you an opportunity to feel good about yourself and optimistic about the things that you can do .

 

  1.  Breaking  Stereotypes

Live in a world where you can think openly without restricting yourself to the narrow horizons of stereotypes that always occupy a space in your head. Learn that everything is not what it seems and there’s so much  to learn from everyone around you.

Volunteering In Russia

 

  1.  Volunteer  to Express

Devote yourself to community you build for yourself and devote yourself to create something that gives you purpose and meaning. Grab some minutes to express your thoughts and opinions, express how you would like things to work, express how you can make a difference.

 

  1. Volunteering is a Pursuit of Happiness

Volunteering helps you to see the bigger picture, and act accordingly.  It helps you to find yourself and be thankful for everything that surrounds you. Volunteering is about you realizing your own definition for happiness and living by it

 

And On a lighter note, Volunteer  :

 

To volunteer abroad, click on: www.aiesec.in/volunteer-abroad

 

Blog by-Khyati Ghai

Contribute to SDG by volunteering in these 6 projects today

Contribute to SDG by volunteering in these 6 projects today

According to United Nations Volunteerism Toolkit

“By mobilizing capacities and extending the reach of action, volunteers can facilitate and support people’s engagement in planning, implementing and monitoring the SDGs, bridging social capital and strengthening social cohesion.”

When the Sustainable Development Goals were launched at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015, they signalled a very bold commitment to the people and the planet and were inclusive of a universal effort to fight for equality , defeat injustice and tackle climate change by 2030.

The  Sustainable Development Goals ( Global goals ) , were a call for volunteers to be the vehicles  that drove sustainable development.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development explicitly explains the importance of multi- dimensional partnerships and Volunteer groups that are needed as the most powerful means of implementation.

“ Volunteers Are The Stakeholders To Achieve The 17 SDGs.”  Because , it is impossible to achieve these goals without a population of young , courageous individuals, who are engaged at all stages, at all levels and at all times.  

Volunteering creates a strong ripple effect, which is exactly what we need to spread the awareness about these Goals and then to bring this knowledge to collective actions.

HERE is how AIESEC wishes to contribute to this mission, and some SDG projects across the Globe powered by AIESEC  that are available for volunteering Today.

 

 

  1. CHANCE GIVER

         Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City

This project aims to work for SDG 4- Quality Education.

(  By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development. )

This Project aims  to bridge the educational gap between the countryside and urban youth of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. These outskirt learners have limited or no access to communicative English, the need to learn which is becoming a necessity in this developing country.

The Volunteers work in a Pagoda which offers a platform to people of all age groups to learn different languages and communication skills through practical sessions, lectures, activities and creating interactive sessions among the class. It also includes the merger of education and cultural awareness through interactions planned in this particular manner. The Volunteers work in groups and close interactions with the students help them to build a strong community.  

To Volunteer for this opportunity –  Chance Giver Project ( SDG 4 )

 

  1.  MIX FOR BOOST

     Ghana- Madina

This project aims to contribute to SDG 2- ZERO HUNGER.

( By 2030, double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers, in particular women, indigenous peoples, family farmers, pastoralists and fishers, including through secure and equal access to land, other productive resources and inputs, knowledge, financial services, markets and opportunities for value addition and non-farm employment )

Mix for Boost requires volunteers to work with small scale farmers in order to maximize food production.  It involves educating the farmers about the sustainable methods of farming and training them on basic knowledge about the same. This is followed up by assisting them in selling their produce and submitting a report at the end of the project.

The project helps to improve the agricultural produce in Ghana , Africa and learn about various opportunities that exist in this field.

To Volunteer For this Opportunity- Mix For Boost

 

  1. iCancerVive

Alexandria, Egypt                                                                                                 

An opportunity to work towards SDG 3- Good Health And Well Being .

( By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.  )

The volunteers work with iCancerVive, an organization in Egypt which works in local hospitals to work and supports children with cancer by helping the foundation to conduct various activities in collaboration with the cancer departments of these hospitals.

The activities involve helping the treatment of cancer patients, providing the kids with psychological support , and provide them with friendly interactive spaces in fun rooms created by the foundation in the hospitals. Other activities include fundraising and awareness campaigns for cancer treatment and helping the hospitals to procure enough drugs  for the  treatment.

To Volunteer for this opportunity – iCancer Vive

 

  1. All For She 1.0

  Ningbo Shi, China                                                                                                 

(By 2030,  End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere | Work For Gender Equality .)

Primarily the volunteers will be working for the awareness of women’s rights and importance of gender equality by teaching in primary schools and communities, and then holding presentations in the community about the same.

Working with different NGOs to help vulnerable girls and women and participating in public talks with students from some universities.

To volunteer for this opportunityAll For She

 

  1. ProJKT: Humaniac

Cikarang Utara, Indonesia

( By 2030, Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems )

The primary aim of the project is to work for animal welfare, prevention of animal abuse, improve the ironic condition of overpopulated strays, and to increase the strength of Human resources in these animal shelters.

The activities include fund raising activities to support NGO’s financial aids, conducting educational seminars in schools for awareness about animal welfare , helping the NGO with its basic activities like dogs and cats visit, vet visits, shelter cleaning ,  rescuing and adopting.  Also participating in any other campaign o event that the NGO conducts.

To volunteer for this opportunity – Humaniac

 

  1.  Coastal and Turtle Conservation Project – Oceano

         Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

( Sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans )

This project aims to preserve the Coastal areas and marine life of Sri Lanka . It involves visiting and volunteering in turtle hatcheries in Sri Lanka , participating in beach cleanup programs ,  studying about marine ecosystem in sri lanka and implementing findings in the volunteering activities.

To volunteer for this project Oceano


Blog by-Khyati Ghai

 

 

Home in the midst of Uncertainity.

Home in the midst of Uncertainty

For a young individual who decides to volunteer, and wants to experience the highest level of culture and language immersion , host family is just a cherry on the top. It is the best way to live locally, get versed with the culture, make meaningful connections and most of all, embrace a home away from home.

Living in a host family can be a comfortable venture, but on the other hand , like most relationships it can be intimidating too, and hence this experience is bound to bring with itself a pocketful of good days and bad days. And it all leads to you getting the most enriched experience, with people who push you out of your awkward shyness and uneasiness and provide you with not just a house, but also a home.

 

c1Host families comes in all shapes and sizes – Now this can be a disclaimer for a volunteer so that he knows what he is signing up for, but then , like they say, there is no perfect shape and size, and you just need to make the best out of what you get.

Ayush Juyal , an exchange participant from Dehradun, volunteered for an autism centre in Helfie, China. He lived a host family experience and shared it with us in the following manner –

“When it comes to my host family , I really have no words to describe them. I was lucky I got to stay with such a beautiful loving family.”

“My homestay father was a very knowledgeable and a funny man. He always used to make people happy. And he was also the only one in his family who could communicate with me in English. He used to share his Indian experience with me, since he had visited India a few months back.
My homestay mother was a computer science teacher , and she was a good wife and mother. She always tried to talk to me and make me feel comfortable although she did not speak english. They had a little cute daughter, who played piano and sang.”



c2I got to experience the Chinese way of living in the best way possible. The kind of food they ate, the things they liked to do, I experienced everything. I also learned a lot of good qualities from them and most of all, I learnt how to survive in an unknown land.

I believe my host family was the support system in my exchange programme. They guided me every time I needed help. I could talk to them openly about anything and gain insights on a lot of things about China. Also , my expenses reduced since I did not have to pay for my meals. Everything was really good. And I just felt that these people are my true family. I am still in touch with them, they miss me a lot.”



c3This is the beauty of host families. You go from strangers to friends , and eventually leave behind a family.
While on exchange, you get an opportunity to live your true self and then you meet people who make it easier for you and become a part of the process.

 

AIESEC offers exchange opportunities across the globe.
Different AIESEC exchanges have different types of accommodation depending upon the project and the countries. You can select one of the opportunity from www.aiesec.org .
You can also choose to shape an experience for these interns by hosting them at your home.
Contact us if you are interested from our Facebook Page

Blog by- Khyati Ghai