AFS Intercultural Programs is launching 50+ new volunteer abroad programs in Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Germany, Indonesia, Philippines for UK residents. The new AFS Volunteer Abroad Programs provide meaningful opportunities to directly contribute to sustainable development worldwide. These real-world experiences cover a range of community development needs in such areas of primary education, supporting the elderly, differently abled people or marginalized communities. For example, volunteers interested in improving educational outcomes of students, can apply now for a program that focuses on supporting underserved schools in the Philippines—from teaching in classrooms to raising funds for school supplies. Teaching in an after school program in Argentina, volunteering in a youth welfare program in Germany, or providing healthcare services to toddlers in the Dominican Republic are just a few of the other youth-focused programs offered by AFS.
The environment, nature conservation and sustainable farming are popular causes for many millenials. This summer volunteers can work on forest restoration in Brazil, advocating for environmental change and sustainable agriculture, as well as learning about the ecosystem of Atlantic rainforests. In Indonesia, volunteers will focus on sustainable farming techniques, or conservation of local bee populations.
Active global citizens looking to make an impact choose volunteer abroad programs to focus their efforts on international programs that will most benefit from their expertise and passion. The program fees help cover the costs the community organizations must pay to feed, house and transport volunteers.
What distinguishes AFS Volunteer Abroad from other programs is the 70+ years of experience preparing participants through orientations that cover safety, risk management and everyday challenges of living in a new country, including helping participants to learn a new language. AFS newest feature is the innovative Global Competence Certificate learning program that supports our volunteers, before, during and after their program.
“The AFS Global Competence Certificate program helps participants learn how to navigate the complexities of new cultural environments, while they work on advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals that matter most to them,” says Andrew Woods Ballard, Business Development Specialist at AFS Intercultural Programs.
The state-of-the-art AFS Global Competence Certificate (GCC) online intercultural learning modules combined with facilitated sessions also develop practical and global skills and knowledge, along with attitudes that employers need and mission-driven organizations believe will help the participants achieve their impact goals.
Why volunteer abroad?
Studies estimate that approximately 15.2 million people volunteer at least once a month in the UK. These new programs are offering the opportunity to take this altruistic spirit overseas. As well as benefiting the local communities and environments when correctly and ethically delivered, volunteering abroad programs can have both personal and professional benefits for the participants: from expanding the knowledge of other cultures and gaining a sense of accomplishment, to learning new languages, teamwork and other skills valued by employers. Research shows that 60% of hiring managers see volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions, according to a study performed by Career Builder.
“This experience changed my life forever. It forces you to adjust, to put things in perspective, to become independent, patient, grateful, and gives you an open-mind. My experience made me who I am today, helped me to get my first job in Belgium, introduced me to my best friends, convinced me even more that volunteer work is enriching and gave me long-life memories,” says Saskia De Jonghe who volunteered abroad with AFS.
Participants in AFS Volunteer Abroad Programs must be 18 years or older. Program fees cover the volunteer support, accommodation and meals. Applications for AFS Volunteer Abroad Programs are accepted all year long, but interested volunteers should apply now for programs starting as early as March. Visit the website (uk.afs.org) for full details relating to the application and express interest as soon as possible.