It’s a new year, a new decade and the perfect time to make some plans to do some things that really count!  There’s nothing quite as personally rewarding as pushing yourself out of your comfort zone on a volunteer trip overseas.  

Here’s 10 reasons why you should take the plunge:

  1. Tick It Off the Bucket List: In later years you’ll look back on your volunteer trip as one of the proudest achievements of your life. It’s something the majority of people dream about, but never get to do.  It’s an unforgettable experience that you’ll always treasure.
  2. Help Make a Difference: Volunteering overseas allows you to give back in a meaningful way by helping to relieve global poverty, whether that’s building schools and homes in slums or helping to rebuild after natural disasters such as cyclones and earthquakes. Doing good deeds always feels good but often it’s hard to make a sizeable impact on your own. By joining a group of like-minded individuals to work on a project with trusted partners, you can help change a community’s life for the better by delivering what they need and want.  
  3. Broaden Your World View: Often it’s hard to see beyond our own backyards. Volunteering in an impoverished community will give you new perspective on your own daily life. You will likely come home with a greater appreciation for what you have and a renewed sense of energy. You will also learn first-hand about issues affecting other countries and understand how vast, complex and diverse the world really is.  If you have kids, a volunteer trip overseas is an awesome “values realignment exercise”.
  4. Meet New People: Working together on community development projects will create new friendships and forge strong bonds. You will develop your team building and interpersonal skills which can then be applied to your own home or work environment. There’s nothing like building a house from scratch to bring people closer together.  
  5. Learn New Skills: Think of a volunteer trip as a personal development course – one where you can discover hidden talents, self-confidence, leadership skills, resilience, problem-solving abilities and gain hands-on experience hammering nails, laying blocks and painting walls. Who knows, it might be all the inspiration you need to change your career! Plus a trip like this always looks great on your CV.  If you are a school, business or special interest group, Volunteer Build is a go-to for private fully-escorted turnkey trips.
  6. Travel Alone: If you want to travel to an interesting destination but your spouse or friends aren’t keen to join you, a volunteer trip is the perfect solution. You can travel to some amazing locations within the safety of a group on our Volunteer Build public trips and have a great time.  We promise you won’t need to follow a red umbrella!
  7. Experience a New Culture: Interacting closely with locals on a volunteer trip is far more enlightening than just observing people from afar. This cross-cultural awareness and interaction is priceless and one of the most enjoyable aspects of any trip. You will live among the community you are helping, try new food, share personal stories, build friendships, experience local customs and enjoy landscapes like no other.
  8. Enjoy Some R&R: Volunteering isn’t all about hard work! Volunteer Build makes a real effort to visit the top local tourist spots and enjoy fun activities like white water rafting and trekking in Peru and Nepal, cruising in Vietnam and Cambodia, snorkelling and swimming with whales in the Pacific Islands, as well as exploring the top attractions, shopping and eating great food. This gives you a well-rounded view of your destination and provides some wonderful memories.
  9. It’s So Much Fun! The trick is to do your research and find a project and destination that’s right for you. Look for something that you feel a personal or emotional connection with and go for it!  If you are not sure, then sign up for Mexico which is our most popular build destination.
  10. What About Helping Those in NZ? We don’t believe volunteering should be an ‘either/or’ situation and we encourage everyone to be involved (as we are personally) in something on a local, national and global scale.  All human life is valuable, so we think it’s important to share our resources around. Because of strict NZ regulations and high construction costs, Volunteer Build is able to do more overseas in developing countries with our resources than we can do locally.  Most 48m² homes and classrooms that we build overseas cost approximately $15,000 in building materials – something you can’t do in NZ.
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