3 Things to Know About Volunteering Abroad

We believe in the power of service to transform communities - but we also believe in the power of service to transform ourselves. Whether serving with PED in Uganda or with another organization, it is important to know how to prepare. Kate Ziebart, a former PED volunteer, reflects on three things that are important to know about volunteering with PED.


Number 1: Service is renewing.

As a past volunteer with PED, what comforted me the most while in Uganda was knowing the difference between help and service. I remember the day my team sat down and read a piece by Rachel Remen,

“When you help you see life as weak, when you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole.”

At the time, this was exactly what I needed to hear. It’s no surprise that when you volunteer somewhere far from home you start to ask yourself, Why am I here? Of course the answer could be different for everybody, but for me it was this: service is renewing. Service benefits every person involved in its process and for that reason, I knew why I was volunteering with PED.

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Number 2: Trust yourself and accept your worries.

As my own volunteer trip went on, I began giving myself daily mantras. I gave this phrase to myself the second day and I continued to use it every day following because it held true to any situation I was worried about. Whether I was getting homesick, losing energy while shoveling, or having a hard time connecting with students that day I knew that if I just trusted myself I could do anything.

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Number 3: Laugh as much as you can!

While volunteering with PED I realized something about laughter. Not only is it healthy and makes you feel happy, but every person on earth likes to do it. No matter where you’re from, or how old you are, everybody likes to laugh.

It’s an extremely powerful moment when two people that just met each other, can laugh together. During my time with PED, I laughed a lot, the pure, genuine kind of laugh you don’t really have anywhere else.


If you're interested in joining PED on a service trip to Uganda, learn more about our program or contact us with your questions at volunteer@pangeaeducation.org.