Returning Home - what next?
When you return home from volunteering abroad, you are likely to have gained a greater awareness of the world beyond your own country and feel inspired to tell others about your experience and the issues you encountered in the country where you volunteered. You will become what is known as a "global citizen", someone who has an understanding of other cultures and empathy with people who may be less fortunate than themselves.
Being a global citizen means sharing your experience with others and campaigning for a better world, by doing things like lobbying your government to change their economic policies which are contributing to global inequality, signing petitions against human rights abuses and supporting international causes. And by telling your friends, family and community about your experience overseas, you can persuade them to also campaign for poverty reduction.
Many volunteers return home from their placement and fundraise for the local organisation they volunteered with. Once you are passionate about a cause and you are knowledgeable about it, you are in a great position to fundraise.
Join a group
If you are interested in global development there is likely to be a local group that you can join so you can meet others with similar interests. Oxfam have groups across the UK or you could start your own group up!
There are so many opportunities to volunteer in your own community. Talk to your local Volunteer Centre or look online (try the website Do-it if you live in the UK). You may find there is a particular cause you have become passionate about from your volunteering experience, for example environmental issues or mental health, and there could be a local charity working in a similar area that you could volunteer with.
Many people come back from volunteering and decide they want to change their career. You may decide you want to do a more ethical job or work for a charity. Some people even end up using their volunteering experience to apply for jobs overseas with aid agencies. Volunteering really could be a life-changing experience!