October 23, 2012

My Kid Wants To Go Volunteering Abroad – What Now?

When your child announces they want to take off and travel the world, it’s completely normal for alarm bells to start ringing! Even if you fully understand the benefits of your child volunteering abroad, it may still be hard for you to overcome your concerns. Here is some advice you may find useful before they set off.

Common concerns and misconceptions

There are various concerns for parents whose children want to volunteer abroad. You might feel that your child is not mature enough or worry that they won’t plan adequately. Because they’ll be far away, you might also feel concerned about not being able to help them or feel anxious for their health and safety.

The fact is you will have had all these worries and more at various stages in your child’s life, whether it was when they stated school, spent time abroad with a friend’s family or took their first job. By having faith that what they were doing was right for them, you have already helped them to prepare for the next stage in their life.

Different volunteering positions

There are many ways your child can spend time volunteering abroad, whatever their interests. From nursing to teaching positions to animal welfare your child is bound to find something to suit their needs. You can start looking at with these international volunteer programs.

Likewise, there are many locations all around the world where volunteers are welcome. Your child can choose to stay close to home or set off to the furthest points of the globe – whatever they decide, you can inform yourself of all the options and help them make the right choice.

Help plan the trip

Even though you won’t be joining them, you can still share in your child’s journey by helping them plan their trip. Discuss what they want to do and research volunteering websites such as www.projects-abroad.ca for ideas.

Make sure that your child is prepared for the trip by helping them work out a budget, buy equipment and help them plan and pack their bags. If they’ve never been away from home before, you could also teach them some basic cooking skills to help them look after themselves.

Stay in contact

Because your child will no doubt be very busy once they’ve set off, you might need to agree on a contact plan before they go. There are plenty of communication methods available, from email to phone to Skype or social media. While they’ll be glad to hear from you once in a while, try not to bombard them with phone calls – this is their chance to achieve something on their own.

Once you’ve helped your child to plan their volunteering experience, you can relax knowing that you’ve given them a great start on their journey. There are plenty of resources available for parents and young people looking to travel abroad available online.

Image by Frontier Official