What does it mean to volunteer?
Volunteering is much more than just traveling to help others. It is about taking an area of interest seriously and working on it in order to achieve a positive impact in the community. This is a worthwhile experience that opens your eyes to life in other cultures, and leaves you with surprising benefits.
We have three very differently yet purposefully structured programs. It might seem easy to choose between them, but be sure of your “why-s” and be present from the beginning.
What should be my first step?
Start with asking yourself, “Why do I want to volunteer?” What thrived you to search about volunteering in the first place? Was it the idea of doing something completely different or because you have always wanted to try out giving back to the world?
Where is the best place to volunteer?
Here’s a tip: it is better to not only look at the destination countries you will be volunteering at, but the goals a project has. Think about how ready you are to invest your knowledge and willpower into a program. If you have found the structure that fits best, then start looking for the cool destinations you would like to explore.
How much time do I have?
Our programs are long-term, so timing is something to consider before joining. Are you ready to put your time into volunteering and keeping the other future plans until after the program? We recommend to rather take a look at which fields are you actually interested in, what do you imagine to achieve. If time is not a question for you, just follow the compass!
Have you ever skipped the idea of volunteering because it is so expensive? It can be pricey life experience, but there are always ways around it, and guess what? We have got you covered!
How can I pay for all of it?
What are the program fees?
For each of our programs, fees are the same. Whether you are a self-payer or doing Pre-Course, all essentials for your daily life will be covered from the common budget. That includes: food, accommodation and health insurance. Once you go abroad to volunteer, you will also have visas, vaccines, participation in projects and other travel expenses covered up from the budget money!
Once you have decided on which program fits you the best, it is time to start preparing for the next step in your life. You will probably feel a million different emotions, but don’t worry, you are in good hands!
How to apply successfully?
What should I prepare?
Do you have what it takes to tip your toe into the life of traveling and volunteering? Volunteering requires hard work and commitment, and sometimes everything won’t work out exactly as you have expected, but will take another interesting turn. Whether you are ready for that step or not, is something you cannot know until you actually do it.
Expectations - We always have some kind of expectations and fears when doing something completely new. What happens when there’s too many expectations? - We get easily disappointed. So, learn how to see the world without expectations, because in this way, you can actually enjoy every experience much more vividly!
Commitment - When you volunteer, you will be living and working like the locals. Making a positive impact requires commitment, patience and being accepting toward changes. Keep in mind that you are doing this to build on existing experience & knowledge, opening eyes and perspective of the world around you, while working on something bigger than yourself.
Experience - You might or might not do something like this again, that is why, even at times when you feel tired, there are so many things around us to appreciate. This is the time to be limitless and explore your potential as well as borders of comfort-zone. Can you imagine going through such an eye-opening experience that everyone you’ll share the story to, cannot believe all you accomplished!
Every adventure ends at some point, to make room for brand new ones. Once you finish a program, you will look at the world from a fresh perspective and go back home with a backpack full of experiences.
Back to reality
Coming back from a place that blew your mind culturally and perspectively, will change you. Seeing what lifestyle you came from, seems like a distant memory and the people around you who didn’t share that experience together with you, might have a hard time understanding what your eyes have seen.
A culture shock and thoughts of what’s next will settle in your mind, but at this point it is best to just reflect on what you have gained and start using your unique new perspective in future plans.
New adventures ahead
The fact that you finished one chapter in life, doesn’t mean it won’t be staying with you forever, or that you couldn’t do it a few more times. As you finish a program, you have freshened up and you will realise how many doors are open for you. So put your new experiences and knowledge to use and after all, it is not about the destination but the journey, right?
Main project areas
These are the main development programs our students participate in
Working with disadvantaged communities in India or the countries of Africa, to improve the local’s living-conditions and to overcome social, economical and environmental challenges. Children are the future of any community, therefore the Community Development projects give great emphasis on providing better opportunities to the vulnerable children of the communities and their families.
Education has the power to make a change in the world. Now you can bring your own contribution in places where education is needed the most! With One World Institute, you can volunteer in teacher training colleges, or directly teach children of vulnerable communities. You can volunteer in educational projects in India, or in Africa (Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia).
Health is an essential human right and it has to be present in the foundation of any sustainable community and economy. You can bring your contribution to projects focused on the prevention of HIV/AIDS, TB, or malaria (depending on the country where you volunteer). You can also help those who are already infected with HIV to live a comfortable and productive life.
Aggressive industrial farming, global warming and the associated loss of water resources and quality of soil, unfair trade laws, all these make it very difficult for small-scale farmers to produce food for their families or for their immediate communities. You can assist the small-scale farmers in India or Africa to overcome these challenges and be creative with the resources they have.
Focus on long-term volunteering and gain a new deeper insight by volunteering in countries of Africa.
Become a volunteer by teaching kids english in school or helping to improve the community to gain new knowledge.
Experience volunteering by contributing with communities while gaining a valuable experience.
BTP period - 3 months
Returning to school with heads and hands full of new knowledge and energy for Bringing it to the Public. Meeting with the team, showing, telling, exchanging experiences and making it common knowledge.
Producing articles, pamphlets, videos, presentations, exhibitions, speeches for debate forums, books and more. Studying further the curriculum in Fighting with The Poor, bringing the truth to the public.
Going to different schools around Europe to spread the new knowledge in various creative ways – speeches, newspaper articles, lectures at universities and colleges, debates and other public events, exhibitions – leading to a better understanding and inspiring to take an action.
Passing the final exams in Fighting with The Poor. Using the last months together to conclude our future perspectives and possible ways of improving The Poor’s quality in life with humble ways of sharing knowledge.
Volunteer period - 6 months
The Project Work in Africa or India in cooperation with Humana People to People. In this period, you can work at:
Arriving at the project in Africa or India, having left behind a courageous journey where fundamental human capabilities have been turned around, refreshed and energised by knowing that things such as travelling can be done in a totally different way than the mainstream tourist travelling.
Ready for doing the work needed at the project, bringing plans and materials from the previous periods. Getting to know the people at the project, the vision and idea of the project and the many concrete tasks to be carried out.
Carrying out the tasks as defined within the necessities of the project and by the Project Leadership. Fighting shoulder to shoulder with The Poor: building preschools, starting Garden Farming, doing literacy campaigns, eradicating malaria, teaching about big issues of our time while working as a teacher at DNS, starting income-generating activities, working as a TCE Special Force in the fight against HIV/AIDS – as a few examples.
Studying and working with your Specialisation in Fighting with The Poor, finalising with a People’s Exam and a written thesis at the end of the period. Acquiring skills in information work: making interviews, taking notes and pictures, writing summaries and reports, recording videos.
Living together with the people at the project, being a good example of living a humble life while improving things with small means to make daily life better.
Travel period - 3 months
Living on the road, being on the move, finding means of transport and places to sleep, talking to people on the road, being curious to understand and know about the countries you are traveling through.
Making investigations, meeting people, visiting their workplaces, staying in their homes, understanding their problems, meeting their culture and values and sharing thoughts with them about the world and the future.
Telling people about your venture to a third world country, trying out bringing it to the public what you have so far experienced and learned. Putting up investigations on a higher level, asking tough questions to self and to the group, getting hold of more answers and putting up new questions.
Taking notes and pictures, writing reports and discussing the seen and the experienced. Finding good ways of sticking together in the Trios and in the group as such during the travel period.
Study Period - 6 months
At this school, you will find that learning is not first and foremost about listening to the teacher.
The school’s Program consists of a range of intense and spirited activities, theoretical studies and experiences that constitute the sum of learning and life processes carried through by a group of people who for a considerable period of time share a Program with each other that demands cooperation and efforts, and which at the same time is sprinkled with elements that are inspiring and also quite out of the ordinary.
Thus, learning will also take place through communication, deliberations, through working out your plan for learning and sticking to it, and putting to use what you learned, the methods you used, the ideas you got from it and the results you harvested from the training.
You will train yourself in being adventurers and survivors, living and traveling under very humble conditions, not using much money and always finding a way out by ingenuity, being smart and sticking together with your teammates.