NGOs & Charities Welcome Newsletter

From your hive leader Clara - June 2020

Hi Everyone!! ☺️

Welcome to the NGOs and Charities Hive and our first monthly newsletter!

This letter and the Hive, in general, is built by and for us to expand both the professional and personal network for humanitarians and NGOs around the world. We’ll be having chats with NGOs, compiled resources, online events, and in the future, in-person events. I’m so excited to see how we can help better the world together.  

- Clara  


 

Clara's Top Tips For Finding Good NGOs

Right now, as with every industry, humanitarian aid is greatly impacted by COVID-19. The marginalized groups that NGOs serve have been disproportionately affected and simultaneously NGOs around the world have had to pause efforts to protect public health.

As the world reopens and many are asking how they can help, volunteers are needed around the world. So, you want to volunteer, now what?

1. Self Reflection:  Volunteering while rewarding and useful, is not for everyone. Once you’ve decided to volunteer, take some time to reflect on what specific skills, experiences, or personality traits make you well suited for volunteer work. Research the causes or issues important to you. How much time can you devote to volunteering? How much money can you invest in volunteering? The answers to these questions may inform where, how, and with whom you should volunteer.  

2. Exploration:  Once you’ve reflected on what type of volunteer experience is the right fit for you, begin looking for opportunities which align with that. There are a number of ways to search for NGOs, but if you have no introduction to the NGO world then Google search, Instagram, Facebook groups, etc are a good place to start. In some cases Googling a particular location may get more specific results (ie. “Malakasa Refugee Camp, NGO). Once you find an NGO, check the age and time requirements they’ve set for volunteers. Now is a good time to apply or email organizations to see if they have a position for you. While you may be tempted to flood the market with interesting emails please don’t, each of these emails/applications have to be responded to by an NGO worker and you can eventually only volunteer with one.  Important/Safety Information:  Keep in mind that many NGOs won’t accept volunteer applications until eight weeks before their arrival dates. Most NGOs will require that volunteers pay for their transportation, housing, and other personal expenses during the project. Few will pay for the opportunity to volunteer itself, be cautious of those who do. Before arriving in the field be sure to speak to an individual member of the organization whose participation within the organization can be confirmed with an NGO affiliated email address or an online bio. While there is always some risk to volunteering, keeping these tips in mind can mitigate that risk.  

3. Finalizing:  Congratulations on taking the final steps toward volunteering!! There are a few logistics to now take care of in the final weeks before you arrive to volunteer. If you book your flights before you’ve finalized dates with an NGO, you have to be prepared to be flexible if that NGO cannot take you. NGOs/Charities should have a volunteer contract which holds you and your peers to a shared standard. This protects you and your fellow volunteers as well as the population you’ll be working with. You should review and sign this contract preferably before arriving. While not necessary, keeping up to date with the region and projects in the area you’ll be volunteering in the weeks leading up to your arrival will allow you to hit the ground running.  By volunteering you are generously donating your time, skills and efforts to make the world a better place and you are entering (in my opinion) one of the best communities all over the world. Welcome to it, and our hive!!!!! 

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