How to Stay Safe and Secure While Volunteering Abroad
Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding and enriching experience. It can also be a great way to explore a new culture and make an impact on the lives of people living in other parts of the world. However, the potential risks of volunteering abroad should not be overlooked. Knowing how to stay safe and secure while volunteering abroad is essential in order to ensure a safe and successful trip.
Benefits of Volunteering Abroad
Volunteering abroad can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only will you be helping to improve the lives and living conditions of those living in other parts of the world, but you will also be gaining a unique cultural experience. You will be able to learn about different cultures and customs, gain a better understanding of global issues, and make new friends.
Risks of Volunteering Abroad
Although volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience, it also comes with risks. These can range from health risks such as contracting a disease, to security risks such as becoming a victim of crime. It is important to be aware of the potential risks and take the necessary precautions in order to ensure a safe and successful trip.
Before embarking on a volunteering trip abroad, there are several steps you should take in order to ensure your safety and security.
It is important to research the destination you are travelling to before you leave. This includes researching the culture and customs of the country, as well as important safety tips and travel advisories. Knowing what to expect before you arrive can help you to stay safe and secure during your trip.
Research Potential Host Organizations
In order to ensure your safety, it is important to thoroughly research potential host organizations. Make sure that the organization is reputable and that the volunteers are adequately trained and supervised. You should also make sure that the organization is insured and that the volunteers are provided with the necessary support and resources.
Review Travel Insurance Options
Before travelling abroad, it is important to review your travel insurance options. Make sure that you are covered for any potential risks, such as medical emergencies and theft.
Once you have arrived at your destination, there are several safety tips you should follow in order to stay safe and secure.
Learn About Local Customs
It is important to learn about the culture and customs of the country you are visiting. This will help you to avoid any cultural faux pas, as well as be mindful of any safety or security risks.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
You should always be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, it is best to avoid the area and find a safe place.
Avoid Unnecessary Risks
It is important to avoid taking unnecessary risks while volunteering abroad. This includes avoiding travelling alone at night, and not participating in any dangerous activities.
Carry Necessary Identification
You should always carry necessary identification with you, such as a passport or other form of identification. This will help you if you encounter any law enforcement officials.
Keep Important Contacts Handy
It is important to keep the contact information of important people handy, such as your host organization, family, and friends. This will help you to get in touch quickly in case of an emergency.
Don’t Bring Valuables
It is best to leave any valuables at home. If you must bring valuables, make sure to keep them in a safe and secure place.
In order to stay secure while volunteering abroad, there are several security tips you should follow.
Don’t Post Personal Information Online
You should be careful not to post any personal information online, such as your address, phone number, or credit card details.
Encrypt Your Data
If you are using a laptop or other digital device, it is important to encrypt your data. This will help to protect your information from potential hackers.
Use Secure Wi-Fi Connections
You should always use secure Wi-Fi connections when accessing the internet. This will help to protect your data from potential cyber criminals.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a good way to protect your data and keep your online activity private.
Staying healthy is essential in order to ensure a safe and successful trip.
Follow Safety Guidelines
It is important to follow all safety guidelines, such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, and social distancing.
It is important to get vaccinated before travelling abroad. This will help to protect you from any potential diseases.
Take Your Medications
If you are taking any medications, make sure to bring them with you and take them as prescribed.
Drink Safe Water
You should always drink safe water. This means avoiding tap water and drinking bottled water or boiled water instead.
Eat Safe Foods
It is important to eat safe foods. This means avoiding uncooked foods, street foods, and foods that have been sitting out for a long time.
In case of an emergency, it is important to be prepared.
Have an Emergency Plan
You should have an emergency plan in place, such as a contact list of important people, an emergency kit, and a plan of action in case of an emergency.
Know Local Emergency Services
It is important to know the local emergency services, such as the police, fire department, and ambulance service.
Have an Emergency Kit
Having an emergency kit is essential in case of an emergency. This should include items such as a first-aid kit, flashlights, a phone charger, and water.
Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding and enriching experience, but it is important to take the necessary precautions in order to ensure a safe and successful trip. By following the safety and security tips outlined in this article, you can help ensure that your trip abroad is a safe and enjoyable one.
1. “Volunteering Abroad: Benefits and Risks”. The Borgen Project. Retrieved from https://borgenproject.org/volunteering-abroad/.
2. “Volunteer Abroad: Safety Tips”. International Student Insurance. Retrieved from https://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/resources/volunteer-abroad-safety-tips/.
3. “Safety Tips for Volunteer Travel Abroad”. International Volunteer HQ. Retrieved from https://www.volunteerhq.org/volunteer-abroad/safety-tips/.
4. “Safety & Security for Volunteers Abroad”. Go Overseas. Retrieved from https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/safety-security-volunteers-abroad.