How to Be an Amazing Volunteer Overseas

Rules of the Road, Stories from the Field

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 19 Oct 2021 | Archive Date 15 Dec 2021
Susan Gibson, Barlow Publishing

Talking about this book? Use #amazingvolunteer #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

Do you want to travel and make a positive impact on the world? This book is designed for you. It will give you practical tips on how to decide what to do and where to go. It will help you to prepare for life in a new country where life is very different. And it will help you to make sure you help the organizations serving as your host rather than be a burden. This book has lots of stories from the author’s experience around the world. She started as many volunteers do, with no idea of how to help people on the ground. After a great many stumbles, she discovered the key to being a successful volunteer overseas: First, go to learn. Then you can help.

Do you want to travel and make a positive impact on the world? This book is designed for you. It will give you practical tips on how to decide what to do and where to go. It will help you to prepare...


A Note From the Publisher

SUSAN E. GIBSON has been involved in the non-profit sector for more than 35 years. She has worked and volunteered in 70 countries. In 1992, Susan went to Bangladesh where she got her training in microfinance at Grameen Bank from Professor Muhammad Yunus. From 1992-2001, Susan was a consultant providing technical assistance and conducting workshops in team building, communications and microfinance principles for NGOs, UN agencies and donor governments. Currently she is a philanthropist actively engaged with NGOs in the areas of refugees, human rights and education for girls. She serves on the board of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which reports on challenging issues such as modern day slavery, climate change and women’s rights. The Foundation also offers pro bono legal support to NGOs seeking justice for victims of slavery and trafficking. Susan has served on the board of the International Rescue Committee (IRC-UK) 2012-18 and remains involved in refugee issues. She was Vice-Chair on the Carter Center UK board 2010-14 and was Co-Chair of the Human Rights Watch London Committee 2006-10. Susan was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and was based in New York in the 90s for her career in the development sector. For the last 20 years, she has lived in London, UK with her husband and teenage son. In July 2021, she and her family are starting a new chapter in Washington, DC. How To Be An Amazing Volunteer Overseas is her first book. Connect with Susan on Instagram @amazingvolunteer and AmazingVolunteer.com

SUSAN E. GIBSON has been involved in the non-profit sector for more than 35 years. She has worked and volunteered in 70 countries. In 1992, Susan went to Bangladesh where she got her training in...


Advance Praise

“People who change the world are not necessarily ‘special’ people. They are everyday people who do not hesitate to respond to outside signals. Volunteering is about discovering what you can do and about getting to a point to take your own first steps. This book chronicles Susan’s journey to discover herself – you’ll enjoy being a co-traveller with her.” 

—Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2006

“Susan’s depth and breadth of real-world experience in overseas work is unmatched. While the book ostensibly is about volunteering, it’s really about international assistance, even the paid kind. Every Peace Corps volunteer, every international aid worker, manager, and executive of any kind — from NGO CEOs to World Bank experts — should devour How to Be An Amazing Volunteer Overseas and assign it to their teams. It will be a text in my courses. A game changer!”

—Kim Wilson, Sr. Lecturer, Fletcher School, Tufts University

“Invaluable guidance for anyone volunteering locally or internationally. The list of dos and don’ts paired with stories is a great way to share important experience—authentic, not theoretical.”

—Wanjiku Kibui, Finance and Operations Consultant

“Susan is very frank and gives direct advice. The book is a lesson on understanding humans, on dignity, and on how to treat people that you believe need your help. The depth of her truth forces the reader to reflect on their intentions. You have represented us in the developing world very well.”

—Sidee Dlamini, Director of Stakeholder Management, African Leadership University

“This is an amazing compilation of information, personal anecdotes, real life lessons, and fun-to-read stories. You have demonstrated that you have to know your privilege to truly set yourself in a position of service to others; that it is working alongside communities and individuals who ultimately teach you more than you could ever teach them.”

—Elissa McCarter-Borde, CEO, Vitas Group

“Whilst COVID may have delayed some plans for potential volunteers, the human urge to explore and contribute will still be there once the pandemic is over! I certainly plan to reference it when I talk to new potential volunteers and indeed staff who want to take first assignments abroad.”

—Sanj Srikanthan, CEO, Shelter Box

“I really appreciated the overall tone of respect and deference to the knowledge, experiences, priorities and needs of organizations and/or peoples of the countries that we set out to "help". It is so important to take our cues from them and to position ourselves "in service" to people  and communities. Despite today's "wokeness", the international aid industry still suffers from "first worldism" where "developed" countries still play the role of "experts" advising the "developing" world."

 —Ghada Jiha, Regional Gender Expert - Middle East, UN World Tourism Organization

“The opportunity to volunteer with global organizations is a privilege to not only give of oneself, but to learn from local leadership and respect the wisdom to be obtained.”

—Shelly Whitman, Executive Director, The Dallaire Institute

“People who change the world are not necessarily ‘special’ people. They are everyday people who do not hesitate to respond to outside signals. Volunteering is about discovering what you can do and...


Marketing Plan

Net proceeds from book sales will go to support education programs in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya and a First Nations community in Canada.

Net proceeds from book sales will go to support education programs in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya and a First Nations community in Canada.


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781988025636
PRICE $22.00 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send To Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 2 members


Featured Reviews

"How to Be an Amazing Volunteer Overseas" is a travelogue, a book of etiquette, and a challenge to readers to do some good in the world. Canadian Susan Gibson looks back over 30 years spent with non-governmental organizations. She started out as a volunteer and learned enough valuable lessons to earn positions in international development and microfinance. To be a good volunteer, she learned, is to look for ways to fit in. To recognize a need and meet it. To value another country's culture and celebrate it. To give more than you get. She relates the lessons she learned with excerpts from letters she wrote her mother, who supported Gibson's desire to volunteer abroad. She offers lists of organizations that accept volunteers, how to find a place to live, how to adapt to a completely different way of life. Notably. she emphasizes good manners and respect for others. Recent graduates and others considering making a change as well as those in search of a good read will find this time well spent.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: