Because finding yourself sometimes requires a combination of travel and giving, today I want to talk about opportunities we all have outside of our homes a.k.a our comfort zones.
If you wanna step out of your neighborhood, or better yet, out of your city, here are a few places you can try volunteering for.
All-Hands Volunteers is a non-profit organization based in the US that all started with one businessman taking a spontaneous trip to Thailand to see how he could help after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami happened in 2004. Now it’s grown into an army of 28,000 volunteers working on 50 disaster response and rebuild projects all around the world.
In the Philippines, two of their projects are the Leyte Typhoon Rebuild and the Typhoon Hagupit Response. In Leyte, All-Hands is focusing on the building of shelters and homes for those displaced by Typhoon Haiyan while at the same time, building a school, starting community projects and planting trees. For the Typhoon Hagupit Response based in Calampong Pinabacdao, the main tasks are “repairing damaged boats, clearing debris, bringing down unsafe structures, chainsawing fallen trees to open access roads and fishing net repair.”
A woman I met at the Flow in the City, a yoga event in May, said All-Hands is accepting volunteers year-round. I’m looking to volunteer in Leyte late this year 🙂
If you want to go further out, they also have projects in places like Nepal, Texas, and Malawi.
Coral Cay Conversation is an internationally renowned for its conservation efforts that focus on providing the data needed to be able to make change for coral reefs and tropical rainforests. They pioneered a ‘citizen science’ approach where volunteers help collect the data that’s eventually transformed into conservation solutions relevant to the locals.
Here the volunteers focus on 1) scientific research, 2) capacity building – meaning educating volunteers about the ecosystem, providing PADI training courses up to Dive Master levels, and even scholarship programs for local stakeholders, and 3) raising awareness.
In the Philippines, the expedition site is in Southern Leyte where they are trying to establish and assess Marine Protected Areas – both looking at the situation under water and on land.
As a volunteer for Coral Cay, you can stay for a week or more, or longer, up to twenty weeks. Since you will be in the water a lot, it will be important for you to be comfortable at sea and better if you have experience diving. For more information, just get in touch with them.
Opposite all of that, for those who aren’t from Manila and are visiting the city sometime soon, you can try volunteering for He Cares Foundation 🙂
They are a non-profit organization that gives help to poor street children in Manila – providing basic needs like food, clothing, education and medical assistance. Their project is simple, He Cares Foundation is bringing children to the Art in Island Museum in Cubao, a 3D trick museum that’s fun and educational for the kids. All you have to do is to spend a day with the kids, be present to them, and help them to enjoy and learn from the experience.
These fieldtrips are usually on the first and third Saturdays of the month. For more information, click here.