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E-volunteer opportunities. Contribute to international development from home.

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26 Dec 2020
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E-volunteer opportunities. Contribute to international development from home.

E-volunteer opportunities. Contribute to international development from home.

25 December 2020

By Victoria Butanu

Volunteering has always been a great way to give something back and put one’s skills to great use. While these opportunities previously required a physical presence a new form of volunteering is now gaining popularity. E-volunteering, also known as virtual or online volunteering, allows you to support causes from around the world without the need to leave your home.

Online volunteering is extremely versatile. You can work on the frontline dealing directly with beneficiaries such as offering online English classes for children in Asia or mentoring women from developing countries. Alternatively, you could work behind the scenes, helping NGOs with practical tasks such as email marketing, translation, data entry, web design, social media platforms, and so forth. Volunteering online for diverse group of organizations from various countries is thus a great opportunity to explore fields to which one may have otherwise had limited exposure.

An excellent resource to begin to look for opportunities start is the well-structured UN Online Volunteering page which allows access to pre-screened opportunities from all over the world. To begin the process, you will need to register by completing a quick survey of your skills and within seconds you will have access to scores of opportunities that match your area of expertise. The important thing then is to pinpoint which type of program you are keen to support and how many hours per week you would be willing to spend on the task. As these volunteer opportunities require a particular set of skills, you can expect organizations who post the positions to screen applicants. Once you have chosen a volunteering opportunity, you will be asked to fill in an application form which includes a summary of your work and volunteering experience, your motivation, your skills and qualifications as well as your CV. Bear in mind that volunteering positions are quickly, filled so apply as soon as you see something you like. The UN online volunteering platform offers feedback and certificates to all their volunteers.

Another useful resource is the Point of Light website. This site offers a collection of truly unique opportunities that, unlike the UN collection, offer help to public institutions, apps, and many other initiatives. Here you might be engaged to tag archive images for the Smithsonian Museum, translate inspirational talks for TED, narrate a novel for LibriVox, or share your knowledge through mentoring in one of the many programs offered. Point of Light is a collection of links, and applications are done via the websites of the individual organizations featured. The site is categorized by thematic areas and is perhaps one of the most comprehensive collections of volunteering opportunities on the web.

One great thing about both the platforms mentioned is that you can register both as a volunteer and as an organization. If you are already working with a non-profit entity, you can gain quality experience by volunteering as well as perhaps finding some help for your own NGO. If your background is not NGO-related, allow yourself to become inspired by all the amazing stories you will encounter while volunteering which may prompt you to start your own initiative and then revisit the website to advertise volunteering opportunities you’ve created.

Volunteering, whether in person or online, is an excellent way to step out of one’s usual routine and contribute to something worthwhile. The connections and the impact that volunteering offers help to build networks as well as improving one’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

SOURCE: DEVELOPMENT AID

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