We all know what it feels like to have the desire to help, but lack the specific skills or direction to really dive in.
At least I do.
Some say that all you need is a desire to help. Sure, thats where to start! But realistically, just wanting to be of service really doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
So, in the struggle to be a valuable asset to your cause, organization, or project, the best thing you can do is invest in yourself, in knowledge and skills.
Be it learning to teach, learning to build, learning to speak another language, or just learning to take initiative, any skills that you can grow in yourself can translate into ways you can help grow the lives of others.
Below are some suggestions that may help along the way:
Skilled / Probono Volunteer classification : Idealist discusses ways to put your preexisting skills to use, and find the volunteering project that is the best fit for you.
TEFL : Although this is field is entirely its own animal, there is a huge desire for English teachers around the world- with the desired result being people who can better benefit from the increasingly globalized economy. Learning to teach English is easy, and provides amazing opportunities for travel, opens doors to nonprofit work, and combines personal growth with increased opportunities for growth in communities that would otherwise be cut off from the bigger economic and educational community.
RedR UK : An organization in the United Kingdom that provides specific training in many areas, from how to work with children in emergencies and proposal writing, to off road driving courses where its regionally necessary.
Learn a Language : there are countless different ways to increase your skills in communication, and it can be a huge plus to be able to speak with the locals, if working or volunteering abroad. There are free online courses, cheap audio courses, and always local evening language classes. The internet and local community centers are an easy first step in learning a new language. Hint: think about the region that you would ideally want to volunteer in, instead of choosing one of the go-to popular languages.
The Foundation Center : a great and comprehensive site to learn quickly about writing proposals.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” Lao Tzu