Home again, home again! … but now, the unpacking; laundry; collecting the pets; food shopping; finding homes for the souvenirs; going through the post … while fighting jet-lag; arranging to meet up with friends and family; picking up the threads of your everyday life.
No mean feat, this coming home after volunteering abroad!
Being back home may even make you feel a bit disoriented and deflated – so take your time with the chores and focus on the all the positives of your volunteer experience: there are probably lots! Gradually you'll appreciate what you’ve achieved and understand the value of your skill sharethrough your volunteer work.
We’ll be eager to hear all about your experience – ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’ – but we’ll contain our excitement and leave you in peace for a while … not for too long, though, as your feedback is important too! Your report will help future volunteers, and we’ll send future reports to you as well. This serves a dual purpose – helping to brief the next volunteers and keeping you up to date with ‘your’ project long after your return home.
Gradually, you may start asking yourself questions: Will I go back? Shall I stay longer next time? Perhaps I can do some fund-raising? I wonder if my local (social / dining / Rotary / cycling / Lions / football / Inner Wheel / book / cinema) club would like me to give a talk or a slide show about volunteering abroad?
We've produced a flyer that you can print off and use Download it here
Of course, we’ll be pleased to help you spread the word – but we gently warn you not to bore your friends and family! No-one can feel the impact of your experience, or care as much about the project and volunteer work placement as you do (except us, the project and other volunteers of course!)
We neither ask for nor expect anything from you, other than your feedback and volunteer networking, but our experience is that many volunteers want to do something more for ‘their’ project. (The following story is NOT about a people and places volunteer, but we have heard a tale of a traveller who did significant fund-raising on their return home … for a community tennis court … in a community where people couldn’t afford to feed themselves, let alone have the leisure time or equipment to enjoy a tennis court !!! There are plenty of other instances of such well-meant but inappropriate giving … you may know of some too!) forum on irresponsible tourism
Please talk to us before you get carried away with enthusiasm! We can advise on how best to target further project support – we’ve learnt a lot in recent years about the challenges of responsible giving! Click here to learn more about supporting your project
… and remember you’re now part of a team – an all-important 3-way relationship. We’ll update you from time to time, send you newsletters and arrange occasional social events … and who knows … perhaps like so many of our other volunteers, you may decide you want to go back! Just let us know.
Read some thoughts and advice from previous volunteers here.