Lesson 8: Why is it important to consider my skills and professional background?

Lesson 8 Chapter 2

3 reasons why

Watch the video or read the explanations down below. Be aware that your knowledge will be tested in lesson 10.

Realistic expectations

Which skills and background would you need at a similar project in your home country? Can you obtain those skills or experience in advance? By thinking about your professional background and skills you make sure that you set realistic expectations for yourself as well as for the project.

Language skills

To what extent do you speak the language of the local community in which you are serving? Language skills are very important in volunteering. Being able to communicate easily can make it a lot easier to make a positive impact. You should realise that not everyone speaks the official language of a country. There are usually a lot of local languages people speak. It will be highly appreciated if you try to speak the language of the community. 

Extra work for the locals?

Be aware that local project coordinators also have to spend a lot of extra time on helping volunteers to find their way on a project. Volunteering at a project without having the necessary skills or professional background, can give the local coordinators a lot of extra work to do. Especially if you are planning to volunteer for only a couple of weeks. Take care that the extra work this gives them will not outway the benefits of you being there.

Next lesson: Which skills and background do I need at my project?