To give a little bit of yourself, to feel you’ve done some good in the world, to leave your cosy life and lend a helping hand where it’s needed most. There are as many good reasons to go on a humanitarian mission as there are missions available…But unfortunately it's not that simple, because humanitarianism has become a business of travelling thousands of miles across the world and costing yourself a fortune.
Below I have listed a few ways to go about seeking funds for your humanitarian project.
Sponsorship and Grants
Sponsoring is a possible solution, and if the sponsors don’t pay in cash, they could always help you by providing material, food and drink supplies, medicine…
- Volunteer Service Oversees has a wide range of long term volunteering placements from one to two years long for qualified professionals with at least two years’ post-qualification experience. The majority of roles available are long term. It also has short term volunteering placements which last up to six months, and for which you need a minimum of five years' post-qualification experience.
If you are between 16 and 25 years of age, you can apply to do voluntary service.
- Youth in Action: the Programme the European Union has set up for young people. Its aim is to support young people's participation in various forms of voluntary activities, both within and outside the European Union. Under this Action, young people take part individually or in groups in non-profit, unpaid activities.
- Youth volunteering with VSO: VSO also has volunteering opportunities for people aged 18-25 through our Global Xchange and Youth for Development schemes.
Another alternative is to contact nonprofits which could help you with your research and canvassing.
- Rotary International carries out a range of international programmes and activities designed to reach out to people in need throughout the world.
- A guide (created by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)) for health care professionals who want to work as humanitarian aid volunteers in emergency situations or in ongoing development work.
- Worldwide Helpers is a nonprofit search engine created to foster partnerships between volunteers and charitable organisations worldwide.
If you have a great project, solicit your community by launching a project on Ulule.com. Crowdfunding is an effective way to finance individual humanitarian projects as there’s a real exchange between project owners and their supporters.
It must be remembered that humanitarian work is a real vocation and a gift of yourself, not for yourself. There's no denying that it will always be difficult to finance your voyage. Why? Choosing to do this outside of an organisation means you should really think about exactly how you will use the funds you’re asking for. People will entrust money to buy medicine and materials, but they might resent (and rightly so) paying for your hotel and plane tickets.