VOLUNTEERING

        
      Don Morgan  -  Author

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VOLUNTEERING in BRAZIL  -  You can take the leap

First two chapters

Introduction

The fast pace of modern life is dominated by materialism and commercialisation. The internet, mobile phones, computers, television, and Social Media consume ever increasing hours of our lives. In this constant pursuit of pleasure and personal gratification a `must have` culture pervades our society. We are in danger of forgetting those throughout the world that have neither the means, the education nor the living conditions just to survive in life. They are unable to enjoy the pleasures and advantages most of us take for granted.

    Poverty and deprivation are rife throughout the world. The disadvantaged need much help within their communities in order to make a difference in their lives. Medical, building, agricultural, commerce skills, among others, are needed. The sick, the elderly, the disabled, and those with AIDS need constant care and attention. Most of all there is ever-growing need for more education for the very young adults on whom the future of their countries depend.

    Wonderful work is being done throughout the world by the many and varied volunteer organizations. There is an ever increasing need for more volunteers who could share their skills and experience in many community led projects. Constant help is required by volunteers that would assist in making a difference in disadvantaged communities. There are many reasons given by those who have volunteered such as;

     The quest for adventure

     The experience of another culture
     To escape from the reality and stress of modern life

    Most of all is the feeling that itís a way of repaying the blessings we have of the good life in our culture. It was this feeling of giving back that caused me to jump at an opportunity to serve after a lifetime of taking, both personally and professionally. To be involved in community led projects that address critical social needs. I selected teaching young adults and children with the organisation Cross Cultural Solutions (CCS), and their Child Development Project.

   Do not think that only the young are suited to international volunteering. People of all ages with a variety of skills and experiences can help within communities. The older generation, for example, have a lifetime of invaluable experiences to call upon in every walk of life. In my case, at a young seventy-five, I had the patience to contribute in the teaching of young adults and also care for the 5 year old pre-schoolers. Even those without particular skills can be usefully directed to help where needed. For example the young volunteers, on a gap year and, without life`s experiences. They were invaluable in helping in the charitable placements that cared for children and the elderly. Humanity and loving care replaced their lack of life`s experiences.

               Caring for the children and young adults
Volunteering to teach children and young adults abroad is a powerful way to affect entire communities. When you apply your passion to support local youth and educators the impact resonates for generations to come. Whether you're teaching English, the alphabet, leading students in a song, or giving a math lesson, you will make a difference. Many of the students I encountered came from families who canít afford the small tuition commonly required for quality education. Some often could not afford the bus fare to come to classes. You will make a difference by offering your attention and support to students who have few opportunities for special one-on-one connections. In an over-crowded classroom, you become a role model for children and provide inspiration to local educators.

    Children and young adults are every community's hope for a better future. Nurturing future generations begins with a single lesson, a simple smile, or just a bit of extra attention. Work as an international volunteer to strengthen a community's greatest asset - their children. Volunteer with child care centres, day care centres, community centres, and other organizations that are preparing children for great things. Many need more positive role models in their lives. Youíll provide support to abused, abandoned, or otherwise vulnerable children so that they can grow into healthy, happy adults. You can prepare children for a bright future by playing games, serving meals, and giving much needed one-on-one attention and love. You'll be an invaluable role model for local children by offering support to an under-resourced staff. 

                               Charitable institutions
In addition to teaching, and on behalf of Cross Cultural Solutions, I photographed a number charitable institutions such orphanages, care homes for children and for elderly, and a specialised institution for those with AIDS. The dedication and care shown by the staff of these wonderful enterprises was truly amazing and an example to all of us. These organisations are not well funded by the Government and subsequently are short staffed, requiring as much help as possible. Other volunteers from my home base helped in assisting the managers, playing with and teaching the children. They cared for the elderly and attended the HIV/AIDS programme. Their help and committed dedication made such a difference in these community led projects.  Without them, these charities would really struggle.

If you have the time, make a difference. Help those in need. Experience another culture. Experience personal satisfaction.

 

 

 

            Caring for the children and young adults
 Volunteering to teach children and young adults abroad is a powerful way to affect entire communities. When you apply your passion to support local youth and educators the impact resonates for generations to come. Whether you're teaching English, the alphabet, leading students in a song, or giving a math lesson, you will make a difference. Many of the students I encountered came from families who canít afford the small tuition commonly required for quality education. Some often could not afford the bus fare to come to classes. You will make a difference by offering your attention and support to students who have few opportunities for special one-on-one connections. In an over-crowded classroom, you become a role model for children and provide inspiration to local educators.

    Children and young adults are every community's hope for a better future. Nurturing future generations begins with a single lesson, a simple smile, or just a bit of extra attention. Work as an international volunteer to strengthen a community's greatest asset - their children. Volunteer with child care centres, day care centres, community centres, and other organizations that are preparing children for great things. Many need more positive role models in their lives. Youíll provide support to abused, abandoned, or otherwise vulnerable children so that they can grow into healthy, happy adults. You can prepare children for a bright future by playing games, serving meals, and giving much needed one-on-one attention and love. You'll be an invaluable role model for local children by offering support to an under-resourced staff. 

                               Charitable institutions
 In addition to teaching, and on behalf of Cross Cultural Solutions, I photographed a number charitable institutions such orphanages, care homes for children and for elderly, and a specialised institution for those with AIDS. The dedication and care shown by the staff of these wonderful enterprises was truly amazing and an example to all of us. These organisations are not well funded by the Government and subsequently are short staffed, requiring as much help as possible. Other volunteers from my home base helped in assisting the managers, playing with and teaching the children. They cared for the elderly and attended the HIV/AIDS programme. Their help and committed dedication made such a difference in these community led projects.  Without them, these charities would really struggle.
If you have the time, make a difference. Help those in need. Experience another culture. Experience personal satisfaction.

                                      Chapter one
                                       How it began
    `Dad, why donít you do something useful in your life`?
This bolt from the blue came from my son Greg as we lunched in the local Pub. I looked at my youngest offspring, a successful business man and director of his own marketing company, and wondered where his mother and I went wrong? Did we not teach him good manners and to have respect for his elders, in particular his ageing father? Rising to the bait, I replied with indignation.

I had, after all, been the owner of a worldwide marketing company, then developed an IT company specialising in computer products for children. Best of all, Iíd fathered two wonderful children, who gave me four beautiful grandchildren. What could be more useful than that? Greg replied that he was not referring to my successful business and personal life, he wanted to talk about now, the present, and my future wellbeing. I simmered down and asked him to explain.

He said it was clear to everyone that I was bored, with nothing to do but fiddle with photos on the computer, play a bit of golf, and going to the gym. He said I needed a challenge, something to get my teeth into.

I had to admit the truth in what he said. I did miss the challenges of business life, the cut-and-thrust of selling and negotiating on an international level. A little sheepishly, I asked what he suggested I do. When he suggested volunteer work, I was indignant and asked if he could really see me digging ditches, repairing fences, or other work that would bore me to tears. Greg patiently replied that he had a much better idea, and suggested I consider volunteering abroad. He explained some of the wonderful work that international volunteer organisations are doing. He expressed that my business, computer, and photography skills would be highly valued in community-based projects.

He then pressed the right button when he suggested I think about the photographs I could add to my international collection. No wonder he is such a good salesman. My all-consuming hobby, which I had missed, is travel photography. I have photos from 35 countries on my website. I could not resist the possibility of adding to that collection as well as experiencing another culture. Helping international local communities would be a chance for me to give something back. After discussing the matter further, the die was cast, and we agreed to look further into the possibilities.