Helping others out can teach your kids the importance of compassion and consideration of others’ well-being. That’s why in your next family getaway, a volunteer vacation may be one of the most rewarding experiences that you and your family can share together, as volunteering in another land allows people to immerse themselves in a different culture that yields memories of a lifetime.
Planning out a volunteer vacation is essential to make things work properly. If your kid loves cats or dogs, you can always look for a charity that deals with animal conservation. If your child is interested in learning a new culture or language, you can look for a charity that works with indigenous populations or community development. Just make sure to check if the charity accepts volunteers that are aged below 18, as many only accept helpers that are adults.
There’s a group called the Global Citizens’ Network that operates in a number of countries around the world. When a family volunteers for them, children are integrated into work projects whenever possible, and are allowed to work with adult team and community members. Participants are never pressured to work as the can do their part for as little or as much as they want, which includes cleaning gutters to building houses. Depending on the age, children can help paint or bring water to construction groups.
There’s also the Whales of British Columbia Program that is open to all families with children aged 10 and up. The group is involved in feeding gray whales in Clayoquot Sound, and the surrounding waters of Vancouver Island. Volunteers are given the opportunity to spend long hours in the sea to kayak, or on a fishing boat to search for whales and mapping their movement. Volunteers get to explore new islands and coves, and enjoy the natural flora and fauna of the places they visit.
If volunteering abroad is not an option due to a strict schedule, families can always do more than just giving a one-time donation through sponsorships. In the Middle East where war is rampant in many regions, charities operate endlessly to give kids the proper food, shelter, and education that they deserve. Through sponsorships, people can learn the hardships that other people who are living in war-ravaged countries experience every day.
Volunteering abroad is a memorable experience that can change the views of a kid positively. It is a good investment that parents should consider while their kids are still young.