It is normal if you feel the need to help these people. There's so much tragedy in the world, and you can't help but feel like there is a need for change.
So, what can you do? What options do you have to help these people?
Volunteering is one of the answers, but there is more to volunteering than just having the best intentions of helping. Just because you are volunteering, it doesn't necessarily mean you are creating a long impact on the community.
Before you decide to volunteer at home or abroad, take some time to ask yourself these questions before you jump straight into volunteering.
What are your skills?
It is essential to know what skills are required for a project and how can you contribute. Think carefully about what you are good at and find a role that matches your capabilities.
You should always be honest about what skills you can bring to a volunteering project. If you are skilled in creating websites, building a house in a jungle or handling children might not be the tasks for you.
It's likely you will make a more significant impact on the community by properly using your skills. If you find yourself lacking the skills when handling a task, you are probably doing more harm than good.
How much can you commit?
Doing volunteering work takes time and effort. Some projects like building a house might last for a week; other projects like teaching kids English can go up to months. If you sign up for things you are not prepared for, you might find everything overwhelming.
Before you say 'yes' to every assignment given to you, know how much time and what are you getting yourself into. If you are new to volunteering, always start small. Only ask to be more involved later when you are ready.
Commit to only what you can do. This is better for both you and the organization because it's just not nice to trouble others when you back down and can't deliver what you promised.
What organization should you look for?
Your primary objective of volunteering should align with the organization you are working for. You should be able to identify their long-term goals and intentions. Always do some research on the organization and find out if they are experienced and reputable before you commit to one.
There are excellent organizations that strive to make the local communities entirely self-sufficient by teaching them skills on how to thrive on their own, thus eliminating the dependency on others. However, there are also organizations that are just trying to earn money.
Sadly, numerous programs exist just to satisfy the instinct of 'doing good'. Instead of focusing on making meaningful impacts, some organizations create a cycle of dependency in the local communities, which prevents them from becoming independent.
Having realistic goals and interests in volunteering is vital. Before you volunteer, you should always do your research and be sure of your objectives, only then you can create an impact on the community.
AusRelief is a not for profit charity that is committed to aiding the vulnerable and underprivileged. We have offered our help in Australia and even in countries abroad like Nigeria. If you are interested in volunteering and making a difference, do not hesitate to contact us.
Please fill in the form below if you are interested in volunteering for AusRelief and we will be in touch with you if any volunteering opportunities arises.