Motive and Volunteering – #5

Watch the following videos

ForumWrite a 250 to 300 word post sharing your views on the importance of motive in our conduct. Is that important? Is it something we even need to bother about? Should we simply do things?

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Why is Volunteer Training so Important?

Training takes time, effort, and costs money. Why should you invest in it? We have discovered that when volunteers are well trained, they enjoy the trip more and leave a tremendous impact on the people they serve. When volunteers are well trained, they don’t hurt hurt themselves or the poor they are trying to serve. To put it briefly, it’s a matter of considering harm and effectiveness. Untrained volunteers harm themselves and those they are trying to serve while well trained volunteers don’t. It’s that simple! This article will shed some more light on this.

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Volunteers applying for a visa – #2

Applying for a visa to Volunteer in Cameroon

Do the following:

1) Call the Cameroon embassy in Washington DC and

2) Call and talk to them about your visa needs to go and serve in Cameroon. is a commendable service that helps many people for a fee. They are not required but very highly recommended because many African embassies are hard to deal with. The Cameroon embassy will not give visas that cover an entire year of stay. Visa HQ only does short-term visas ( 3 months or less). If you are planning on remaining in Cameroon for longer than 3 months, you have two options:


1) Apply for a long-term visa (6 months) directly through the Cameroon embassy in Washington DC. You need to read the forms that you download from their website very carefully. Apply early and be patient with them. Check this link >>

2) Get a 3 month visa through VisaHQ (which is easier) or Cameroon embassy and then extend it to 6 months when you get to Cameroon. With this option, you are delaying some of the hard work for later to do it in Cameroon. You’ll need to travel to the capital city, Yaounde, which is about 7 hrs away. We will provide you with a travel guide and you will be responsible for their bus fair to and from Yaounde.  The second option should cost you an extra 80 to 100 dollars.

Note: If you are planning to stay for one year, you will need to apply for residency after you have been in country for 5 months. It will cost about $500 for the residency application alone plus maybe another 100 dollars for travel expenses to and from Yaounde.

Your goal is to talk to the embassy, know their requirements, deadlines etc for the visa.  Also take a quick look at the forms that need to be filled out just to familiarize yourself with them before hand. Then talk with (even if you won’t use them in the end) and ask them how they could help.

Note: We will be giving you an invitation letter from Cameroon to use to apply the visa later.

After you have done this, write a short 250 to 300 word report of what you have found and include a plan that you will take to get your visa as your time for traveling approaches.

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Planning your Volunteer trip – #1

In 250-300 words, briefly answer the following questions.

1.  What will you do to plan and prepare for your trip to Cameroon (or another country)?

2. What resources will you bring with you?

Enter a blog comment below that answers these two questions.

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8 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

1. Make a Difference

The greatest benefit of volunteering is that it’s an extremely rewarding experience that allows you to make a difference in another person’s life.  Volunteering allows you to transform others.

2. Gain a feeling of personal fulfillment
Volunteering allows you to change others. But the person that will be changed the most by volunteering is the person who volunteers. You can have everything and still be miserable. Human beings seem to have been made to serve one another. The life satisfaction, self esteem and self confidence that you build by pouring your life out to serve others will make you feel much better and actually more healthy than the feeling you will get by winning a million dollars or some large amount. Life meaning comes not from something a person owns but from something a person gives out of their life.

3. Develop Job Skills

Volunteering is one of the best ways to network in the community and at the same time gain new knowledge and hands on experience for a future career.  Any type of volunteering is good because it shows your heart. But if you know what you want to pursue for a career, doing some volunteering in that area is good also because it gives you experience in it. If you want to be a teacher, then when you volunteer with Change Volunteers, choose to teach. If your career path is not represented, no problem, you will gain the experience. Medical schools today are looking for students who didn’t study biology or biochemistry in college. They want diversity of experience that makes patient care better. So volunteering and gaining experience in other areas is very good.

4. Helps you find your Purpose in Life: Gives you time to figure out what you really want to do with your life, your purpose.
Talking sometime off to volunteer really helps you to sort out and clarify your career goals.  Part of the process of figuring out your purpose in life sometimes is exploring other interests. Volunteering allows you to do that. Some students take a year off between high school and college or between college and graduate school to travel and volunteer. That can be a very smart thing to do.

5. Broadens your mind and enhance your education.
When you travel abroad to volunteer, you end up learning more about the world and about different cultures. Just that exposure broadens your mind and changes the way you think and understand. Granted, you can vicariously experience the world through books, television or stories from other people, but nothing changes you like a real life experience.

6. Beef up your resume or CV and increase your chances of being hired.

If you talk to most people who interview people for employment or promotion of some sort, they will tell you that volunteering increases your chances of success tremendously. People see that as a reflection of your heart. It tells the employer that you the job, you are likely not to be the kind of employee who is always looking at the clock making sure that you don’t overwork by a minute. No body wants to hire someone like that. And since it’s expensive to hire, train someone and then fire them, hiring managers look for these subtle clues that a person has a good heart. Volunteering experience shows them that.

7. Improve your chances of being admitted into a college or professional school.
Four-year colleges and professional schools like Medical Schools, Pharmacy schools, law schools, and business schools and other institutions of higher learning are increasingly looking for people who not only have a brain but also have a heart. Test scores often tell them which candidates are good. So they look for volunteer experience as an indication that someone cares about others beyond themselves.
Our founder, Ken Acha, MD has written has been asked to write many letters of recommendations on behalf of volunteers that he has closely worked with who are applying to these institutions of higher learning and all of a sudden realize that they need someone who knows them in an area that they did something good to write a letter for them. Very few things make such a recommendation letter more powerful than when it comes from a respectable organization or individual with whom you volunteered and really poured your heart out to love poor communities and in doing so, formed relationships that you can be proud to turn to later and ask for a recommendation knowing fully well that they will say great things about your heart and work!

8. Meet New Friends who are like-minded.

Volunteering allows you to meet like-minded people. It’s not difficult to meet people in college. Meeting good friends is the challenge. When you volunteer, you meet people whose hearts are selfless enough that they take time to volunteer. That’s who you want to hang out with!

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