Wisdom & Insight
Living Your Sense Of Purpose Through VolunTourism
When the purposeful becomes personal, as we are discovering through the testimonials of VolunTourists around the world, the grooves are definitively deeper and more meaningful. Take Roslyn Parker, for example, a marketing & public relations executive for nearly two decades, who is taking her personal connection to domestic violence and giving it a purpose beyond her community of Dade County, Florida. She has been deeply moved by the experience of the interaction between purposeful and personal; so much so that she took a recent VolunTourism trip to the Dominican Republic in an effort to combine the two.
With our busy lifestyles, when its time to travel we want to do something special. We want to do more, but often we don’t know how. Voluntourism is an amazing way to travel, seeing the world while helping and giving back to others. It can also help you to live your life’s purpose when you use your gifts and talents to connect you to the people and culture of your chosen travel destination.
As President of the Safespace Foundation, a domestic violence advocacy non-profit organization that provides funding and support for four Miami Dade County shelters, I know that my volunteer work as an advocate for this organization is my personal truth and my life’s purpose. As a survivor this work is what truly speaks to my heart.
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Recently, I was invited to be a part of a vacation and volunteer program on the beautiful island of the Dominican Republic. The participating US based non profit agencies included Airline Ambassadors and Kids 4 Kids Crossing Borders. The program took place in Cien Fuegos, Dominican Republic, and consisted of the delivery of clothing and hygiene kits, job training, a children’s party and a presentation on domestic violence.
Cien Fuego is a community that is ravaged by poverty and a variety of social problems, one of which is abuse. The women of Cien Fuego, like most, want the best for themselves, their families and their communities. The empowerment of women is a critical component in breaking the cycle of abuse. Being able to integrate my passion for women’s empowerment into every aspect of who I am, professionally, spiritually, and personally is a wonderful gift that voluntourism can bring.
My presentation on domestic violence was followed by a lively question and answer discussion on domestic violence that was translated in Spanish by Kids 4 Kids Crossing Borders' Program Leader, Laura Reyes. I found the women to be eager for information. They listened intently and waited patiently as Laura translated. I found that even though I was in a foreign country, many of their needs and issues were almost the same as the women I worked with at Safespace.
Throughout our trip we spent time with the children of Cien Fuego. When the children’s baseball team was presented with new uniforms and equipment, the smiles on their faces were priceless. That evening we set up a children’s party in the church courtyard. Laughter and joy filled the air. I discovered that although misfortune and suffering can touch anyone’s life, voluntourism is one way to make a difference. I came home grateful and energized to do more.
The Golden Rules Of VolunTourism
No two voluntourism experiences are the same. It is a rewarding way to enhance your travel experience and your life. Listed below are what I consider to be the golden rules of Voluntourism.
- Be Sincere: Being in service is your greatest gift to humanity. Be prepared to be a steward of this gift.
- Be Open: Voluntouring requires flexibility and change. Being open and receptive is a part of the process.
- Be Willing: Share your gifts and talents willingly. Giving supports the law of reciprocity, also known as the law of giving and receiving.
- Be Respectful: Treat others in the same manner in which you want to be treated
- Be Accountable: Your contribution, no matter how great or small, will make an impact in someone’s life. Once you commit to the process, people are expecting you to show up.
- Be In The Moment: Last but not least remember to relax and experience the moment. Find your joy and have fun while taking in this new life experience.
In Sync With Your Life's Purpose
There is a certain knowing when you are in sync with your life’s purpose. People and resources show up to help you on your way. Creativity flows freely, enabling ideas and solutions to come to you easily and effortlessly. You activate the law of reciprocity, as it is through giving that we receive. Life unfolds in the most awesome way, validating what you already know is your truth. Voluntourism supports that process, enabling you to experience the bliss and joy that comes through the power of giving.
As for me it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. In fact I look forward to many Vacation and Volunteer programs to come. Knowing that I have made a difference has added more meaning and purpose to my life. It is a vacation experience that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my days.
BIO: Roslyn Parker
Roslyn Parker is a Managing Partner of Affinity Partners Group, Inc, marketing and public relations agency. Based in South Florida the firm specializes in Travel to do Good Programs. For more information please contact 954-274-1537 or visit www.affinitypartnersgroup.com
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