Volunteering abroad has many benefits. It opens your eyes to a different world and makes you appreciate other cultures. It also gets you better immersed in the volunteering programme since you are far from home and the distraction that sometimes comes when you are volunteering from home. There are, however, mistakes that you could make in volunteering abroad. You could end up ruining your entire experience and making it harder for other international volunteers to get an opportunity to volunteer in the country/organisation where you went. Some of those mistakes are as follows.
Disregarding People’s Culture
Before you leave your country to go into another as a volunteer, you should first spend some time to do research. Find out what they believe in and the customs and taboos that make their culture. Once you have understood the culture, you should then be sure that you are willing to respect them before you start your journey. Do not go there as a volunteer and then start making them feel like they are inferior, or they do not know what is right. It is okay to have conversations to understand their culture better, but do not insult them.
Treating Them as Objects
There have been horrendous stories about abuse and mistreatment that some of the people meant to benefit from charities go through. As a volunteer, you should avoid any action that will project people as objects. Posing with young children in vulnerable states, forcing people to do things that make them lose their dignity are some of the things that you should avoid at all costs. The essence of volunteering is to make lives better, not to frustrate people.
Forgetting Your Mandate
It is easy to go into a new country and get immersed in things on the side, such as travelling and exploring. While it is not wrong to take breaks and discover the new environment, your mandate should be on volunteering. It is why you left your country anyway, and you should never forget it.