The way to start off on the right foot of any project is to be prepared. Educate yourself about the project, about the region, about the background and history of the issue at hand.
In addition to knowing the specifics of what you´ll be doing and what you need, there are some really great books that you can read to get in the right mindset, and have you thinking more critically about your part in the humanitarian effort.
Unfair Trade: How Big Business Exploits the World´s Poor and Why it Doesn’t Have To – Conor Woodman
In The Shadow of Man- Jane Goodall
World Volunteers: The World Guide to Humanitarian and Development Volunteering – Fabio Ausenda
Half The Sky- Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide – Kristof and WuDunn
Be The Change: Saving the World With Citizen Science -Chandra Clark
Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan – Mortenson
Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live & Die for Bigger Things – Ken Wytsma
Finding Beauty in a Broken World – Terry Tempest Williams
The Voluntourist – Ken Budd
The Volunteer Traveler´s Handbook – Shannon O´Donnell
When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor… and Yourself – Steven Corebett