Many people think that volunteering abroad is for young adventurous people trying to gain perspective on the world. While this is also true, volunteering programs abroad are also a great fit for seniors. This is because of their time availability, experience, good criteria, and enhanced empathy.
Here are some of our reasons why we love seniors that volunteer!
Seniors are usually retired, making time plentiful. Not only time availability is good for senior volunteering abroad, but flexibility as well plays a big role in how that time is spent. Seniors can choose to come at the best times or when there are fewer volunteers and more help is needed. Also, seniors can easily change their plans with fewer restrictions as their kids are grown up and they don´t have a boss waiting for them to get back to work.
Seniors joining a volunteer program have a lot to give to their project in the form of experience. Seniors had a lifetime of valuable professional experience and can contribute it to their project in a deeper way by training staff, help strategize or create better and improved workflows.
INLEX has had quite a few volunteers over 50 that have made a significant contribution to their projects by implementing new and better ways of doing things and strengthening the project staff itself with new tools to accomplish this.
A great example of this is of an Irish volunteer in his mid 60’s who was a principal most of his life and joined to volunteer at a rural school in Guatemala. During his time volunteering, he was able to implement a better time management structure for teachers, a more efficient line of communication, and a system to encourage students that were excelling in their performance. All over the course of 10 weeks.
Years living on this earth tend to give individuals a better thought process and improved decision-making skills. Senior volunteers are very independent and tend to have a very sound judgment on their work. Projects love seniors, as they don´t have to look after their work so often.
People that volunteer, in general, are very empathic, however, we see that seniors are even better at understanding other people´s situations. They are able to be more understanding of the people they help. Empathy helps a long way when making connections with people.
Their experience, criteria, empathy, and flexibility are some of the reasons why we love seniors that volunteer. Are you over 50 and looking to travel abroad and make a difference?
Volunteers can choose from programs in:
And did you know that according to a recent study volunteering may be healthy and improve your quality of life?