by Linda DV
Africa is a vast continent but most of it lies in the shadow of poverty, malnutrition, drought, lack of education and civil wars. From the famines of Ethiopia to the poaching of wild animals in Kenya, Africa has seen it all. Volunteering in Africa has been a major consideration of Non-profit organizations worldwide.
Different people have different reasons to opt for volunteer work and it can vary from the desire to learn new things about new cultures and societies to travel and gratification through social work and helping mankind. Some people are so devoted to the cause that they have spent their entire lifetime in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Nairobi etc, while others do as much they can. Volunteering abroad and in continents like Africa, South America and Asia can be an enriching experience with a satisfaction or gratification that is almost incomparable.
There are different organizations requiring volunteers overseas and especially in Africa. Some of the organizations and projects involving volunteering in Africa are:
The Cheetah Recoil Program: This program is being organized at the Marsabit National Park, Kenya as a part of providing opportunities for volunteering in Africa. The Cheetah is the fastest animal on land but off late, due to extensive poaching, the population of Cheetah is almost near extinction. This Cheetah program has been designed specifically for volunteers who have an interest in wildlife conservation and are willing to travel overseas to Kenya. The requirement is for volunteers in groups of 20 who will work in a specific area along with some senior research co-coordinators, game wardens and scientists.
The Azafady Project: The project is being run by an U.K. charity organization and they need volunteering in Africa to effectively alleviate poverty, and at the same time improve and protect the unique and beautiful environment and wildlife. Their overseas volunteer program is two fold. One program is called the Pioneer Madagascar and it offers opportunity for volunteers to work at the grass-root level and create a system through which environmental degradation and poverty can be fought. The second project is called the Lemur Venture which is a lemur conservation project focused on protecting the already threatened population of lemur.
Global Service Corps (GSC): They are an organization who offers overseas volunteering opportunities and this includes projects in Tanzania, Africa. Their volunteering in Africa program involves participants to stay with Tanzanian people in their homes and learn about their life and culture. Volunteers share their own experiences and culture and through daily interaction educate the people of Tanzania. The project areas for volunteers include HIV/AIDS prevention, health, creating sustainable agriculture to prevent hunger, working with hospitals, farms, schools to impart information and create a social community.
There are many more organizations who offer opportunities to volunteers to visit Africa and make a difference. You can also take up volunteering in Africa and the benefits are:
1. You will be able to give something back. There are many people who feel the need to give back to the society and are passionate about their cause. If you are such a person then volunteering in Africa programs can provide you with a great opportunity to pursue such a cause.
2. If you are looking for a unique opportunity: There are many projects focusing on people, poverty, social issues, disease or health etc., but there are not as many projects on wildlife and ecosystem conservation. If you are interested in a wildlife conservation project and want to become a volunteer and pursue a related program, then it will be a unique opportunity that will ultimately provide satisfaction.
3. If you are looking for experience: There are many people who take part in overseas volunteering projects to gather experience required for their career goals or to start their own non profit organization. Either way, volunteering in Africa will provide the necessary experience and much more.
Volunteering in Africa can provide a unique set of opportunities that will be a life changing experience, culturally, educationally, and from a professional standpoint