Hello and welcome to this extensive guide that will tell you about everything you need to know before volunteering in Asia. The definition of Volunteering on Google is to “freely offer to do something” or to “work for an organization without being paid”, but it is more than just that. It is something that one needs to experience instead of reading a definition of. It is a journey that will help you to grow as a person, grow professionally, and help give back to society.
Here’s what you’ll find in this Volunteering in Asia guide:
What do you work for? Money, or meaning? While some people are able to climb the corporate ladder and do whatever it takes to work for the sake of earning a large sum of money, some people can’t. They need to be working for a purpose, for an organisation that tries to make this world better for future generations. Getting the two together though, is not impossible. There are organisations out there that have meaningful missions, that will also enable you to secure a comfortable living. Joining a volunteer programme can be your contribution of positive impact to the world and to yourself.
Passion is one thing that drives a lot of volunteers. If you are not passionate about the work that you are doing, what’s the point of travelling to the other side of the world? You will be investing a lot of time and effort for the organisation that you volunteer with. You want to make sure that their vision aligns with yours, in a place where you can grow and create impact simultaneously.
With all the efforts by volunteers, there are a few cases in which volunteers are taken advantage of. They are required to do a multitude of things on top of their volunteering work because they’re considered free labour. It’s good to feel like we’re not just free labour all in the name of ‘volunteerism’. It is good to know that the world needs more of us and that we are benefitting someone. That we can be a voice for the voiceless.
Am I too old to volunteer? Isn’t it expensive? Is it worth going to the other side of the world for a short period of time? These are some stereotypes that revolve around volunteering. Anyone, from any background, from anywhere around the world can create an impact and help those who need it most. Don’t get carried away by these stereotypes before doing actual research on what is expected of you by your hosting organisation.
Proper preparation prevents poor performance. There are some things that you need to know before coming to Asia to volunteer. The most important one being the ‘Why’. Why are you doing it? Most volunteers have a ‘why’. What’s yours?
Volunteer tourism, otherwise known as voluntourism, is currently an emerging trend. It can be seen as a good thing. People want to travel. People want to help. They get a chance to see the world while spreading social good. As with any booming industry, there are always organisations willing to capitalise on this by taking advantage and commercialising the concept.
As the largest continent in the world, there are many places you can volunteer in Asia. Asia is incredibly diverse in climate, customs, and civilisations that set the stage for the rest of the world to follow. It isn’t perfect though. Being home to 60% of the world’s population, there is a lot of demand for help and improvement.
Travelling is fun. The packing is not. Imagine having to pack for 6 months – what would you bring? What do you need to do in terms of the VISA? Is your passport going to expire anytime soon? Here, we will talk about what you need to do before your adventure begins.
It can be daunting to visit and live in a new continent for the first time. The language barrier, the cultural difference, and oh, the humidity! The list can go on and on.
If you are a volunteer, there are very exciting prospects for you in Malaysia, or even the rest of Southeast Asia. Malaysia is in a region of tremendous and explosive growth. Amongst the many issues that challenge Malaysia and Malaysians, there are five that have attracted the most attention.
You don’t need to be the richest man on this planet to help the underserved. All it takes is the resolve to help others, and nothing will stand in your way. We want you to have an amazing experience volunteering in Asia, so here’s a list of some amazing organisations that create high impact on a daily basis.
If you’ve always thought that the concentration of wildlife is only in Africa, then you’re absolutely wrong! Come to this part of Southeast Asia, where the rainforests are full of orangutans, sun bears, pangolins, sambar deer, mouse deer, Borneo pygmy elephants and more.
Many people wish to preserve what nature blessed us with to keep it safe and clean for future generations to come. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind getting your hands dirty or want to use your mind to improve the earth’s conditions, then we have found some super organisations here in Malaysia who are open to fresh volunteers with fresh ideas.
Besides the fact that volunteering is becoming more and more popular amongst young people, choosing Malaysia as the location to volunteer in Southeast Asia comes with its perks. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer.
Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural land with Malays, Chinese, Indians, and Orang Asli/indigenous people who all share a unique cultural identity and are able to continue the practices of their respective traditions. Volunteering in Malaysia, especially when you’re living and working with the local community, will give you an extremely delightful experience that you will be talking about for years to come.
If you have a passion for travelling, meeting new people and making a difference at the same time, you should definitely apply for a volunteer role at SOLS 24/7. SOLS 24/7, our Malaysian- based, award-winning NGO has had a tremendous positive impact in various areas regarding social issues – changing over 400,000 lives to date.
It’s a lot of stuff to read, but go through them at a pace that suits you best, and be sure to take notes. Getting excited yet? You should be! Volunteering is a very rewarding and fascinating thing to do and can be lots of fun.
We’re excited that you’re here! Grab a cup of coffee, and let’s dive into all you need to know about volunteering in Asia.