What to Do In the Field

Observe, learn, listen, help.

Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask about things that are new, interesting or different, but be considerate. Use your common sense to determine if you should ask what’s going on or just go with the flow. Here are some questions we like to ask when we visit projects:

  • What are the organization’s objectives?
  • What community problems is your organization addressing?
  • What programs does the organization run?
  • Who does it help?
  • How are GlobalGiving funds being used?
  • What are the organization's successes? Its struggles?
  • Does the organization have any questions for you?

Meet new people. The best way to learn more about the work of a GlobalGiving project is to meet people. Of course you’ll have the chance to chat with the project leader, but don’t be afraid to ask to meet other organization employees and volunteers. Find out if you can meet the organization’s beneficiaries and talk to them about their experiences.

Update your blog. Keep people up-to-date about what is going on in the field. Sometimes it will be difficult to find internet access, but when you get a chance, post a quick update. Or use your cell phone to send a tweet to your blog!

Send a postcard. Help out the project you are visiting by letting their donors know about the great work they are doing! Send an electronic postcard to GlobalGiving donors. Learn more about sending a postcard.

Tips for Traveling

  1. Know the country that you’re visiting. Take the time to do some research on the country you are visiting. What language do they speak? What are the culturally specific gender roles? What types of clothes are appropriate for you to wear?
  2. Make sure you have a passport and the necessary visas. Visa requirements vary by country. Make sure you have the necessary visas or that you are prepared to purchase one at the border.
  3. Get your shots.
  4. Register with your embassy in the country you are visiting.
  5. Pack lightly.
  6. Be prepared. Speak with the project leader ahead of time about what to expect. What clothes should you pack? How much money should you expect to spend?
  7. Be flexible. Expect your plans to change.
  8. Keep an open-mind. Things will be different and surprising.   
  9. Have fun!

See more tips from Lonely Planet and CouchSurfing.

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