First World Problems.

At the age I am now, I have plans of what I want to do once I leave education, and for many other people thinking about the same thing, these include volunteering- taking part in charitable work either in this country or overseas. However, it can be hard to decide whether to help out in your own country, or overseas. Whilst many people accuse young people who do charity work overseas as just looking for a good time, people who decide to stay in their own country are also accused of not being brave enough. It’s a tricky one, but luckily, Ordinary Author has prepared a guide to taking part in charity work in your own country vs. working overseas…

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Your Own Country:

These are schismatic times for all of us, including even the most economically advanced countries. It might seem more abundant in places like Yemen or Syria, but there are humanitarian crises in the UK too (using my home as an example). For example, many areas are still recovering from extreme flooding which hit last year. Not to mention growing poverty.  Between 1st April 2016 and 31st March 2017, The Trussell Trust’s Foodbank Network provided 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. There is therefore a growing consensus that doing charity work abroad is for posh middle class kids who just want to have a fun time. And many of the people reliant on food banks would probably agree. In summary, helping in your own country means:

. No Cultural/Language Barriers (mostly)

. New exciting areas and places highly accessible

. Help make your home great

. A stepping-stone to foreign work…

Food bank use in the UK has risen dramatically the last few years and is now at it’s all time highest. Credit: Trussell Trust



A foreign country:

However, there is a lot which can be said about helping out in other further away, more deprived areas. Countries like Syria are in the midst of a Civil War– so it’s fair to say their needs are greater than ours here in the UK. But not all countries are circled in conflict. In many rural areas of Africa, because of no phones, broadband, and a lack of education– most children grow up to practice a family trade. However, thanks to overseas workers- an education is being provided for young children so that they can go into the city and have access to the same opportunities as city kids- that could be you. In summary, there are many benefits of doing charity work abroad, such as the ability to:

. Experience a whole new way of life.

. Help areas less fortunate/in greater need than yours.

. Learn new skills

. Broaden your skills/mind…

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Credit: The Independent


So, which way is it? Stay at home and explore new parts of your homeland you never knew existed, or go abroad and broaden your skillset/cultural experiences? I would start by saying- if you choose to do either of these, then you’re making an admirable and positive contribution. However, it is my belief that you should focus on making your own country a better place before you attempt the same in a foreign country. After all, you know your culture and language like second nature- and I think it would be possible to accomplish more in your own country than somewhere overseas. But that does mean that you can’t ever visit them.

But what do you think? As always, your feedback is welcomed…

Thumbnail Credit: BBC

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