International volunteering is an inherently reciprocal act, yet often it is the volunteer who is most changed by the experience. Return volunteers describe their experience as life changing. Why is volunteering abroad such a powerful experience? International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) believes that volunteering abroad changes the participant because of the following experiences:
- Volunteers are faced with culture shock and complex social problems that force reflection and deeper thinking
- Volunteer work with host communities builds relationships. As communities and volunteers work together they build trust and cross-cultural understanding.
- Return volunteers are passionate about making a positive change in the world and have real ties to communities in need. Volunteers are more likely to become future change agents and involved global citizens.
IVPA believes that volunteers have a greater chance of positively impacting the community and having a life-changing experience when they are: open, respectful and informed.
As a reminder that we must first be the good we wish to see in the world IVPA is partnering with Cents of Style to give away one of their “Be The Good” graphic t-shirts. To enter the IVPA “Be the Good” Giveaway, click on the link and make sure you like IVPA’s Facebook page. Additional entries through following IVPA on Twitter and tweeting a message about the giveaway.