There is more than one way you can contribute to helping a community or cause. Volunteering comes in many forms, and you will be able to find one that suits your goals and needs. You could choose to help with fundraising at a local animal shelter or you could offer to spend time educating children at a refugee camp.
Whether you decide to help volunteer to relieve the Ebola outbreak in Masisi in the Congo or you offer your administrative skills to a children’s home, you will be contributing positively to the world. Below are just some of the different types of volunteering you can try.
Fundraising or administrative volunteering
Many charities are short-staffed when it comes to administrative and fundraising tasks. If you are not someone who is keen on fieldwork or manual labour, but still want to contribute to a cause, this could be the perfect opportunity for you.
Your role could be varied from helping to write funding proposals to communications and marketing work, all of which are vital behind-the-scenes components of running a charity or organisation. By helping to fundraise and providing administrative help, you will be building your own skills as well as alleviating the stress of the other workers in the organisation.
Mentoring volunteer work
Mentoring young children who have been through an Ebola outbreak or teenagers who are living in an area with little to no access to schooling is one of the most rewarding volunteer activities available.
Mentoring is an effective way to help young children to flourish, but can also be used in a teaching environment, such as helping adults to obtain their Matric certificates (or the local equivalent) in poverty-stricken countries. Being a mentor is so much more than simply giving advice. You have to listen to your mentees and try to understand their view of the world in order to truly offer them a solution to their issues.
Youth work volunteeringIf you are passionate about helping young people find their voice, pursue their passion and lift themselves out of bad situations then youth work is the choice for you. Youth work volunteering involves facilitating workshops, mentoring teenagers and volunteering to help children in unpleasant situations.
Youth workers help children to improve their self-esteem, their self-confidence and help them to understand how they can help to improve their lives. You might be working with children from abusive homes or you could be caring for children who have survived an Ebola outbreak and are recovering from the consequences. This role requires you to be sensitive, caring and patient as well as being able to deal with stressful situations.
Relief or emergency volunteering
Across the world we see natural disasters ravaging countries and man-made accidents causing dangerous emergencies. You can offer your assistance to help with the aftermath of these by choosing a relief or emergency volunteering programme.
Relief volunteers will work in areas that have been affected by disasters and who need food, water, sanitation, medicine, and shelter. Masisi in the Congo is one such place, and their Ebola outbreak requires volunteers who have prior medical and relief experience. Many of these programmes prefer professionally trained volunteers, as there are situations which require the attention of expert doctors and nurses.
Animal lovers and environmentalists will often choose conservation or environmental volunteering. These programmes could include working with endangered animals, cleaning rivers or dams or helping to clean pollution off of sea animals.
Conservation volunteering is not for the faint of heart, as you will see animals who have been abused and the true effect of man on the environment. But it is a noble cause and something which you should consider if you are passionate about the environment. If you do not enjoy working in the field, you could offer to hand out flyers or gather donations for an environmental charity.
Online volunteering might not sound like the most exciting option, but it is perfect for those who might not have much time to spend out and about at volunteer sites. You could offer to write blog posts for a charity or create social media content for an animal shelter.
One online volunteering method is teaching English to those who speak it as a second or third language. You will be providing them with the tools they need to succeed in life as well as improving your own skills such as teaching and time management. Online volunteering is also the more affordable option for those who cannot yet afford to travel to a foreign country to volunteer in.
Give your all
No matter which type of volunteering you choose to do, you will need to give your all. Volunteering might not sound like a full-time job but for those who take it seriously, it can become their life’s calling. You can choose from fundraising or administrative volunteering, mentoring volunteer work, relief volunteering or even online volunteering. You will find that the volunteering experience is one that is rewarding and beneficial in many aspects, especially when looking for work.