Webster’s dictionary defines a volunteer as :
“a person who does something by free choice usually with no payment expected or given”.
This introduction may be hackneyed, but the volunteering programs you’re about to read are far from that.
Check out these 6 volunteering programs that make a difference.
Founded in 1946, UNICEF began with the specific mission of helping European children facing famine and disease after the second world war. Over the last 70 years, the organisation has grown and spread, it now works in over 170 countries with the aim of protecting children’s rights and improving their lives as well as those of their families.
The organisation is one of the biggest names in international aid and humanitarian work in the world today. In order to be able to achieve all it aims to do, it created the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) programme. This volunteering programme recruits volunteers for assignments throughout the United Nations system and allows them to help children around the world.
The WWF (World Wide Fund) was created in 1961 with the signing of the Morges Manifesto, a document which laid the foundations of the organisation as we know it today. It has since strived to protect the planet as well as endangered species and reducing our impact on the environment. They do this by selecting a group of priority locations to protect and conserve such as Madagascar or the Mekong complex. They also select animal species that are endangered whose survival cannot be guaranteed with conserving their habitat alone. Finally, the organisation works to raise awareness on reducing one’s environmental impact.
In order to achieve these goals, the WWF employs more than 6,200 employees. It also organises many different volunteering programs, either to work on their protection of endangered species or on protecting endangered ecosystems or help raise awareness. In this way, the WFF’s various volunteering opportunities represent a great way to make the world a better place.
Plan international was originally founded in Spain in 1937 to help children there during the Spanish civil war. It then went on to spread its reach throughout Europe and later the rest of the world. Today it is a global organisation which operates in over 70 countries in order to advance children’s rights and equality of girls.
In order to achieve the organisation’s vision, Plan international needs dedicated people from around the world. They have created a volunteering program that allows anyone to volunteer either in offices or directly in the field to work towards a better world for children, especially little girls.
BRAC was founded in 1972 and based in Bangladesh to assist refugees after the Bangladeshi war of liberation, it is currently the world’s largest non-governmental organisation. It operates in Asia and some African countries in order to alleviate poverty and provide care to over 80 million Bangladeshis. It also works through a network of 52,000 schools and helped 1.5 million students worldwide. It is said that the organisation’s efforts in rural Bangladesh have helped cut child mortality for children under 5 from 25 to 7 percent over the past three decades.
In order to achieve this and successfully bring about its projects in Asia and Subsaharan Africa, BRAC organises many volunteering programs in both areas of the world. These help BRAC become and maintain its position as the number one ranked NGO in the world.
Global Volunteering International
Global Volunteering International (GVI) has existed since 1998. This organisation has run multiple award-winning conservation and community development programs worldwide. GVI’s goals range from gender equality to fighting against diseases and sustainable environment.
More than 25,000 people have volunteered for GVI in nearly 20 years. As projects blend community service with global and cultural awareness, volunteers are encouraged to continue learning and serving after they’ve returned from their trip.
Oxfam International (which comes from the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief) was founded in Britain in 1942. At that time the organisation campaigned for food supplies to be sent through a blockade in order to feed starving women and children in an occupied Greece during the Second World War.
Today, Oxfam International is a world leader in the delivery of emergency relief, uniting 20 member organisations in its confederation and employing 6 200 field workers. It is also part of a global movement to campaign with others in order to end unfair trade rules and demand better health and education services for all.
Oxfam International is supported by more than 22,000 volunteers who represent an important part of their team. It is possible to volunteer for fundraising events such as their festivals or music events, but also to volunteer in the field.
This list is of course far from being comprehensive, but it offers a glimpse into some inspiring volunteering actions.
Your organisation also provides an inspiring volunteering program and you want to share it with us?