Volunteering with NGOs
Ever thought of giving back to society? What better way than to work as a volunteer for an NGO? It is one of the most fulfilling and meaningful things to do, especially if you have the time and the attitude for the same. Before you take up volunteering it helps to understand what it entails.
Bringing about change in society and making someone’s life better is not limited to making a monetary donation once or twice a year, although that helps immensely too. By being a volunteer you could help by teaching, creating awareness, raising your voice against injustice and representing the cause of the unheard or underprivileged in forums that matter. When you take up NGO volunteer work, you get to do all this and much more.
• Opting for fundraising
One of the important initiatives you could take up as a volunteer is to start a fundraising event. It could be a charity concert, a cricket match or a marathon. It is easy to raise funds for a cause when you have such events lined up, and lots of people, including celebrities participate.
• Creating awareness programmes
As a volunteer for an NGO, you can create or participate in awareness programmes by working on the ground, at the grassroots level, apart from using mass media and mainstream means of communication/advertising to disseminate information. If it is a programme to help underprivileged infants/toddlers gain access to vaccinations, for instance, volunteering work would involve health camps, organising street plays to spread awareness about vaccinations, meetings with communities of women, have posters, television or radio ads.
• Taking up advocacy
Volunteering is also about advocacy. You can take up advocacy too, as it’s all about making the needs of a person or a set of people known to the society and raise concerns via various platforms that will help your cause.
• Adopting projects or working as partners with an NGO
If you belong to a big brand/corporate, you could partner with an NGO — a win-win for you and the NGO. You could also adopt one of the projects that an NGO handles. Corporate help involves starting marketing programmes for a cause. An example would be donating sales proceeds of a particular service or product to a social cause.
• Teaching languages, art or craft or other subjects
You can offer your expertise in any area, and help the underprivileged a skill or two that will help them in their education and also vocation.
• Using virtual space for volunteering
If you have certain constraints that come in the way of volunteering at the ground level, you don’t have to lose heart. There are plenty of online opportunities for you to take up voluntary work. This could be in the form of graphic designing, social media management, content writing etc. Some NGOs offer specific assignments with deadlines that you could take up online.
If you have the will to help, you will certainly find a way to do so. All you need to do is keep your ears and eyes open and take up the next available volunteering opportunity.
POLL: Have you taken up any voluntary work for an NGO? If yes, , what kind of work did you do?