Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:55 PM
When you are lucky enough to secure a sabbatical at your workplace, you want to be sure you spend the time wisely and come back equipped with new skills that will show your boss they were right to give you the time off. That's why volunteering with kids is so worthwhile.
In some of the world's most popular tourism destinations there are communities in need of any assistance you can provide, from playing games with orphans to teaching children English. Below are just a few of the options open to you if you decide to embark on this kind of trip.
Teach reading in South Africa
You might take your ability to read for granted, but there are some underprivileged children and adults who never had the chance to learn this valuable skill – which is where you can make a difference. If you have plans to visit Cape Town in South Africa as part of your career break, make time in your schedule to volunteer at a school here.
The head teacher will have selected pupils to join your group and you will be provided with a quiet place to sit and read to them, before helping them get to grips with reading aloud too. Not only will this see them improve their abilities, it will also allow their confidence to grow. Plus, you get valuable experience at teaching – which is something that may assist you when you return to your job.
Teach English in Nepal
Thanks to its popularity with hikers looking to trek along the pathways that wind around the Himalayas, Nepal – which was previously a little too off the beaten track for travellers – is fast becoming a significant tourism destination. As a result of this, local people can benefit significantly from being able to speak English as it may help them secure a job in the industry. Therefore, helping them to speak the language will have a positive effect on their lives.
Teaching English also has benefits for you, by boosting your confidence as you watch the pupils learning and their abilities improving. It really is something of a win-win project. You have the option of teaching local children – who will be able to use English to secure a job in the tourism sector and hep support their families – or Buddhist monks, who can use the language as a tool to communicate with those visiting their monastery.
Bring joy to the lives of Bolivian children
Sucre in Bolivia is a beautiful city home to some amazing architecture, which is why it has become such a popular tourism destination. However, there is a darker side and that is the plight of the children who have been orphaned or abandoned by their parents and so are forced to live on the streets.
Bringing joy to their lives and equipping them with skills that could help them build a brighter future is one of the most worthwhile things you can do. You will be challenged with dreaming up activities like sports, dancing and drawing that will soon have them laughing, while you'll also help prepare meals for them and clean.
A further benefit of this project is that you will be able to immerse yourself in the local community and give your Spanish skills a workout. Returning to your job being able to speak a new language is sure to please your boss and it's a great addition to your CV!