Short term volunteering opportunities abroad July 22, 2020 Short Term Volunteering Opportunities Abroad and at Home You don't need to travel to volunteer abroad. In a world that has come to a standstill due to COVID-19, local and international NGOs need help now more than ever. If you've got some skills and a little spare time, read on to find out how you can make a difference. Working Abroad. Staying Local. Just as we have all learned that we can work from home, did you know that we can volunteer overseas from the comfort of our own home too? Volunteering is not limited to planting trees, teaching English or building toilets. Just as there is a wide scope of work in the for-profit sector, there are the same requirements of skills in the not for profit sector.So, if the majority of what you do in your day to day involves sitting (or standing) in front of a computer, then there is a reasonable chance that you have a skill set that could be utilised by an NGO somewhere in the world. Maybe even in your own backyard. As we further emerge into a digital world, NGOs are crying out for assistance and support in the industries of IT, accountancy, marketing, fundraising, event planning, social media, web development… the list goes on. What's in it for you? Before you conclude that you have a beneficial skill, it’s important to ask yourself if you have the right motivation. Volunteering online for an NGO is an opportunity to flex your strength and have a positive influence whilst doing good in the world. If you’re a marketing specialist, and as a result of your influence, an NGO has increased Google rankings/campaign funds/ PR exposure etc, then this is an accolade you can boast about. This is an opportunity to add depth to your CV and feel good at the same time. Money isn’t (or shouldn’t be) the only factor as to why we work. Benefits such as a sense of belonging, community and comradery play a major role. The sense of achievement, learning and experience are often valued as highly as financial compensation. These are the benefits that you reap when you volunteer for a non-profit organisation and are motivators worth working for. Finding a job with a different kind of pay. Before you volunteer, you need to understand that you are undertaking a job, just as if it were a paid job. Taking you on in the business, despite being unpaid, still costs resources. You need to be trained in regards to vision and goals. Think about every time a new employee joins your company. It takes time before they are an asset in their own right, as there is always a level of induction and training required. Volunteering is no different.As with finding paid work, a great way to start is to find a company you would like to work for and introduce yourself, and how you could be of value. Think about where your passion lies and what you have to offer. If you’re going to be working from home, then the world is your oyster. Three steps to finding an NGO to volunteer for. Start with the industry that you can relate to the most- potentially education and schools, or community development. Some people have an affiliation with health and hygiene. Domestic violence is a global issue, and many NGOs work towards female empowerment and vocational training. Some NGOs specifically work to teach children to swim to prevent drownings. Finding a cause you believe in is a great place to start.Find a country you want to digitally work in. This can be related to your chosen industry or sector, but not always. Perhaps you have a cultural heritage connection. Perhaps you were on holidays once and felt a personal connection to a country. Just keep in mind any language barriers that may exist, in addition to cultural barriers. Just because you may be an expert in a chosen field, combining those skills with working alongside a new culture can bring unexpected challenges. This is part of the experience and ultimately one of the greatest rewards.Finding your NGO. Combining your chosen industry and country of choice is a great way to start researching potential NGOs to volunteer for. Ensure you read as much as you can about the organisation and what they do. Your values must align, as you are not going to change them. That’s not your role. You are going to assist them in getting closer to their goals and vision. Once you have found your perfect match, write a letter to the managing director, just as you would in a job application that was never advertised. Explain who you are and what you can offer. Why they are the NGO of choice for you and how your assistance could be of benefit. It’s not easy and there is a good chance you may never hear back. However, if the match is right, just as in all quality relationships, the fruits are enjoyed by all. What does commitment look like? To set an expectation as to how much work is involved in digital volunteering, it’s best to flip the script and have a think about what you would want from an employee/volunteer at your own company or business. Anything less than a month may not seem worth it unless it is a short term project that is highly specialised, such as fixing website issues. You and your new organisation may choose a project that will determine completion. There is no need or expectation to volunteer full time. Again, depending on the organisation, skillset and project at hand, a couple of hours per week could be of great benefit. Whatever it is, it has to work for both parties. Some great NGOs to think about... At Social Cycles, we connect with many NGOs during our adventures. If you’re looking for a place to start, we have no hesitation in recommending the following: All Cambodia Laos Samoa Iran Vietnam Mongolia Australia This Life CambodiaCommunity Development | Education | Female Empowerment Friends InternationalChildSafe | Education | Prevention | Vocational Training Chumkriel Language SchoolEducation | Housing Free the BearsWildlife Conservation Sustainable CambodiaEducation | Community Development Quality of Life AssociationUXO survivor programs and support | Mine clearances Lone BuffaloEducation | Female Empowerment | Vocational Training Lao Buffalo DairyAgriculture | Community Development Omid FoundationFemale Empowerment | Vocational Training | Social Support Purple HouseIndigenous | Health | Social Support NPY Womens CouncilSocial Support | Vocational Training | Youth | Social Services | Disability Mekong PlusCommunity Development | Microfinance | Infrastructure | Education Brown Girl WokeFemale Empowerment | Education | Arts Women in BusinessFemale Empowerment | Small Business Development | Agriculture AsralCommunity Development | Vocational Training | Female Empowerment StreatSocial Support | Homelessness | Inclusion Programs Share the journey Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on linkedin Share on whatsapp Share on email Feeling inspired? 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