To each his own volunteering!
The forms of voluntary and united international commitment are very diverse, depending on the situation, motivations, availability and sensitivities of each: it is possible to live a volunteering experience by going alone or by participating in a collective project. The destinations as the duration of the missions are of all kinds, from a few weeks to several years.
Here, you will find the commitment that suits you according to your profile or the type of volunteering. You can consult our offers or submit a spontaneous application.
Are you about to leave? You will find everything you need to know to prepare well, as a volunteer in the best conditions.
But above all: ask yourself the right questions!
To choose the right volunteering for you and prepare for your departure, here are some useful questions to ask yourself.
- What is my current situation?
Your age, your family, financial, professional situation, your physical and mental health, your previous experiences, are all elements to take into account in your decision to get involved: it is about matching your project to your possibilities and your constraints.
- What are my main motivations?
There is no right or wrong motivation; on the other hand, it is important to ensure the balance between meeting your own needs and meeting the needs of others: it is neither about being totally altruistic nor completely selfish. Thinking about your motivations will also allow you to better assess your expectations in relation to your volunteering experience, and to make them realistic so that you don't get disappointed, frustrated or disillusioned.
- What are my skills, knowledge and skills?
Even if volunteering does not always require specific skills, it is important to define what you like to do and what you know how to do in your volunteer, student or professional activities: this can be put to good use during your experience.
- How long am I ready to commit?
It is important to think about the duration of this commitment: as much it is not a question of starting a project without being able to finish it, as it is sometimes complex to invest in a way by creating intense links with people and projects. to leave after a few weeks. You can also have a short first experience, with the aim of committing yourself longer thereafter: build your own engagement journey.
- What are my emotional and material needs?
Leaving means leaving your material and emotional landmarks: it is important to take this into account, for example, to know if you need a group living the same experience, to support you, or to assess whether your health can adapt. under certain climatic or sanitary conditions.
- What type of activity would be most suitable for me (and for others around me)?
Engaging in international solidarity is a noble intention, but also responds to the principle of
“doing no harm”, neither to others nor to oneself. Volunteering abroad will be very rewarding if it is not done to the detriment of others (for example, replacement of a local workforce), or at your own risk (for example, too much responsibility by based on your experience).
- What would be the best conditions for my experience?
Leaving means going to live in climatic, cultural and logistical conditions that are very different from your daily life. It is important to assess how ready you are to adapt to this difference, and therefore what
The setting will be the most suitable for your experience (urban/rural, accommodation alone or with others, experience in collective or individual, in immersion in the local community or with other expatriates, etc.).
Do you want to get involved?
To best prepare your volunteering project, here are some questions to ask yourself.
In order to live a useful volunteering experience for the people you are going to work with as well as for yourself, you have to be able to find the form of commitment in line with your motivations, your profile and the objectives you set for yourself.
The search for a quality volunteering mission, responding to a logic of balanced partnership between the sending and receiving structures, involves questioning the process and thinking about your own project. Taking the time to develop an engagement project that matches your aspirations and your profile (duration, skills, field of activity) is essential.
To help you, here is a series of questions to ask yourself (or to ask) before leaving:
- Your motivations: question your international commitment project, mature it: Why do you want to leave? Why abroad? What are your aspirations?
- The project partners: What is the status of the structure which offers a mission abroad (company, association, etc.), its objectives and its values? Do they match you? Was the mission built in consultation with the local structure? Does the mission replace local employment? Does it compete with a local organization?
- Support: is initial training planned? Support during the mission? And on the way back? Can you be put in contact with former volunteers - volunteers?
- Impacts: What are the impacts (positive, negative) of the mission in terms of contribution to the general interest? What about local communities? Are these impacts measured?
- Responsibilities: What is the added value that you can bring? What skills and qualifications are needed to complete the assignment? Could you exercise them on your return to your country?
- Support for the mission: Are the financial contributions requested reasonable in relation to the cost of living in the country? How are these contributions used and to whom are they donated?
- Protection of vulnerable people: Is the protection of vulnerable people (children, people in precarious situations, sick people, etc.) taken into account? Are protective measures implemented to prevent any form of abuse?
These questions are inspired by the questions asked by the Service Civil International (SCI).