Before you leave to volunteer, it can be difficult to know just how much it will impact you. You’ve probably heard stories about how impactful volunteering abroad is and how much it changes your life, but you’re not really sure how.
One of our volunteers, Viola, experienced it first hand and shared how significant volunteering with Bobbi Bear in South Africa ended up being to her.
“My time at Bobbi Bear has definitely changed me. Bobbi Bear has made me realize how well off we are in the Netherlands and other Western countries in this world. I have so much more appreciation for my life and everything I have here in the Netherlands. No one in the here has to live on the streets, everyone can get medical attention, and there is much less corruption. On the other hand, I’ve learned so much from South Africa and Bobbi Bear and the people who taught me and touched me deeply. I’m more likely to love and tell those I love that I am glad they are in my life. I learned that I must enjoy the present, be with friends, and enjoy everything I have in my life. Also, I appreciate the fact that I am an independent woman and single mother. I appreciate that I have a good job, good friends, and can give my son everything he needs. Bobbi Bear and South Africa have certainly changed me and I am grateful for them forever.
I would recommend Bobbi Bear as a volunteer project to someone who is strong-willed, someone who really wants to make a difference to someone who has undergone very traumatic experiences, someone who is caring and understanding, can handle tough situations, and is capable of taking initiative and working hard. They must also be open to getting to know new people.
A couple events from Bobbi Bear have impacted me:
- The passion Jackie, the founder of Bobbi Bear, and Eureka have for anyone who joins Bobbi Bear. That inspired me and encouraged me to do more for the people around me.
- James, the 3-month-old baby who was left at the police station by his father. He was a wonderful, sweet, cheerful boy who I spent 5 days with as if he were my own baby. I would have adopted him if I could. Eventually he went to his aunt, which was an incredibly difficult moment for me. I loved him as if he were my own child.
- How corrupt and unfair the entire legal system, health system, and government are in South Africa. Also, how poor the children and women are. I cannot even explain how different it is from the Netherlands. And despite all this, there are so many sweet and warm people that receive you with open arms. Even after these terrible things happen to them, the children trust you and open themselves to you.”
Volunteering abroad can be a challenging, transformative, and incredibly rewarding experience. While there will be times that are difficult, there will also be inspiring and uplifting times.
Volunteering abroad is a unique experience that is sure to stay with you long after you return home.
If you have any questions about volunteering abroad or what project would be best suited for you, feel free to reach out to us at any time.
And if you’re ready to apply now, click here!