Seeking ways to integrate with local communities while travelling.

Volunteer Advice Requested

Once and a while I receive emails from people looking for advice on volunteering. I thought it would be helpful if I opened it up to our community. I’m sure there are a number of people out there that can offer some great advice. Also, I think there are a number of people who are looking for similar advice. If you have any suggestions, please comment. I have changed the individual’s name in the following email.

Thanks, Andrew

“My name is Pedro, and I’m a Portuguese 22 year old engineering student.
Some time ago I realized that I really want to volunteer. A friend of mine is a volunteer and told me about some places where she went, where people really need help. I started looking for it and after reading a little about volunteering in Africa, I made the decision that I wanna be part of it.

I found out your page because I’m not rich, not even close, but I really wanna do it, there has to be a way. I’m contacting you personally because I’m a little lost in finding out a volunteer program that match my wallet, my skills, and my will. You seem to know a lot about volunteering, so maybe you can help me finding out a program that suits me.

My skills and conditions are:
– Like I said above, I can spend money, but not that much because I’m student and I don’t have a regular income;
– I don’t have any kind of heath formation, but if there is anything health related that’s easy to do, I’ll learn it quickly and I’ll do it, no problem;
– I speak English and Portuguese (it may be useful in Portuguese language countries), and I know mathematics, physics, chemistry. I’m not the best student but if somebody needs my knowledge I would be cheerful to share it.
– I’m a musician, I play guitar, piano, and a little bit of drums.
– I’m used to manual hard work, I actually work in my father’s farm very often since I was kid, and I’m used to do very different manual tasks.
– And most of all, I really want to help people. Right now that’s something that I realized it’s very important for me. I’m surrounded everyday with problems and concerns from me and from the people I see everyday that are nothing compared to the suffering of people that were not so lucky as me when they were born.

I think that the world is unbalanced: in some places, if you miss the train it is a problem, and it can ruin your day, but in other places there is no time for problems, because the only concern is to survive.

And I realized that we are the lucky ones, we were born with everything, and it’s up to us to try to make the difference and change the life of people that were not so lucky with their life.

I would like to volunteer in a very poor area, where I can really make the difference. I don’t how it works, but if is there any refugee camp where I can be useful, I don’t mind.
I tried to explain the best I could what I feel, what I know to do, and what I want to do, and I hope you can help me finding a volunteer program that match me, and one where can be really useful.

I’ll wait for your reply,
Cheers,

Pedro”

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