Each year, hundreds of thousands of people travel across the globe to volunteer abroad. Although it’s an activity that is usually associated with students or as a stop-gap between jobs, it’s an activity you can easily adapt to your way of life, with placements lasting between 2-3 weeks to months at a time.
With Small Charity Week fast approaching, it’s a good time to focus on smaller organisations that are looking to make a change in the world, one step at a time. Although bigger charities may well give you more scope in terms of work experience, in the form of office-based work for example, one of the greatest pulls of smaller charities is the chance to get to grips with their activities, from the ground up.
First things first, when looking for a small charity to work with, you should check out the organisation, how and where it was set up, who is in charge and what their mission is. Time and time again, students feel underwhelmed by a charity’s daily activities and their placements as they didn’t put enough research into finding the project they would most like to work on.
You should also think about what sort of role you’re after. Just because you’re volunteering doesn’t mean you should only think about what you can give a charity with your help and hard work. The best workers are those that are passionate about the cause and the responsibilities their job entails, so think about the different areas you would like to be involved in.
Whether you’re looking to work as part of a community, project manage a particular event, work with a team of volunteers or take responsibility for a whole strand of operations, it’s up to you. Volunteering gives you the chance to help out, and help yourself, too. After all, you only get out what you put in, so if you know from the start you’re really good at networking and always the last to leave a party, then you could look into fundraising for the charity of your choice. If you’re more hands on and enjoy working with small teams, teaching and group activities would be right up your street.
Small charities need people who are passionate about their cause and their mission in order to contribute to their network and help them grow. Volunteering during your year abroad will give you the chance to stretch your horizons, gain experience in something you believe in, but also help give you a first-hand experience of what it’s like to work in a small team.
Part of the beauty of Misión México is the close work you’ll get to do with the kids, of all ages and all sorts of backgrounds.
“It´s difficult to imagine the suffering that some of the beautiful children in Misión México have gone through in their short lives. These children welcome you in and show you so much love, it’s hard not to get very attached to each and every one!” Emma, Ireland, recent volunteer with us.
We’ve also partnered with all sorts of different organisations, in Mexico, the UK, Australia and the US, meaning you can get involved once you’re back home, too.
“My husband and I had the opportunity to go to Tapachula in 2010 to meet Pam and Alan the kids. We just loved them all and were amazed at how Pam and Alan are working with the children. I believe we all can find a few hours to spare a week to a life changing organisation like Misión México, no matter where you are in the world, there is always a way one can help.” Ana Lucia Cortez, Australia
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Ana and kids
We like to think of our work as being more than a shelter for the kids, but rather a real sense of family and community.
“I have two parents who show me what it is like to have unconditional love, and I have a big family to show me what it is like to be united as a family; this is Misión México“. Maria, 22 years, one of our family members.
Maria, Pam and Alan at the event
So, what are you waiting for, come join us at Misión México and change lives!
Volunteer Jason and kids at Mision Mexico, Tapachula, Mexico