Even with rapid modernization, humans still remain susceptible to the wrath of Mother Nature. Apart from natural disasters, wars and conflicts routinely devastate communities around the world destroying local resources and infrastructure. Thanks to television and social media, billions of people living in other parts of the world play witness to these life-altering events. It often sparks debates about politics, religion and global warming. However, only a tiny percentage of the global audience make it a point to help the victims. People who choose to volunteer abroad in disaster relief belong to that group. They pair up with nonprofit organizations working in the affected areas to help rebuild and restore. Communities around the globe, especially in Asia, Africa, Central America and South America, need immediate help from volunteers in disaster relief projects.
There is no sugar-coating it: disaster relief work can be physically and emotionally challenging. However, one of the benefits of volunteering in disaster relief is the rewarding experience of making a positive impact in vulnerable communities worldwide. Volunteers who join disaster relief projects abroad get to be a part of the solution and return home with lifelong friends who remain grateful for the contributions they received at the time of their needs.
The key to making a significant contribution starts by picking the right volunteer programs. It’s important to study the background and activities of a nonprofit organization to make sure they are truly making a difference. Most programs need people with different skill sets to collaborate together. It is important that a volunteer matches their qualifications and skills with the job description he or she is applying for. Apart from being part of a quick-reaction team, volunteers can also choose to join long-term disaster relief programs that continue to provide support to the victims years after the disaster. These plans aim at leading communities towards self-sustenance by restoring healthcare, sanitation, and educational infrastructure.
Disaster relief efforts need to be dynamic to match the ever-changing local demands. It often involves organizing medical camps to control diseases and administer vaccines. Construction work to rebuild homes and sanitation infrastructure is also a common activity. Volunteers can also help nonprofits to gather funds by planning and executing fundraising campaigns. There is also a high demand for medical doctors and nurses. Accommodations in disaster relief programs are basic at best. Some nonprofits in severely hit areas even ask volunteers to arrange their own stay. All the details should be on their GivingWay profile.
The skill set required to take on volunteer jobs in disaster relief depends on each nonprofit. Working in that field involves a lot of physical activities that go into organizing workshops and camps. Making and serving food to sustain local communities is a common daily activity. People interested in volunteering abroad in disaster relief must be prepared to live in modest accommodation facilities. Some nonprofits have guest houses for volunteers, which are usually pretty comfortable. Checking the local weather report before visiting is also highly recommended.