There are few activities more rewarding than helping other people. There are many ways in which you can get involved in bettering the lives of those in your community and far beyond it. Although humanitarian projects can be challenging, they are well worth the effort.
When it comes to humanitarian projects, you can start at home. Get to know people in your neighborhood and identify those with special needs. These needs may be short-term or long-term. No matter what the area of need, think of a practical way you can help meet it. For example, you could go grocery shopping and run other errands for a neighbor who has recently had a knee replacement and is not able to walk yet. Or you can rake leaves, mow grass or shovel snow for an elderly neighbor who has trouble doing yard work. Neighborhood humanitarian projects are vital grass root efforts and can also act as springboards to larger-scale projects.
One very practical humanitarian aid project is raising money for charitable and disaster relief organizations. You could host a talent show, a concert made up of local musician friends or a spaghetti dinner and advertise it so that guests know the proceeds of the event will benefit a particular organization. Organizations such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and World Vision are trusted organizations that solicit funds to channel into various avenues for humanitarian aid (see Resources).
When disaster strikes a nearby area, you can organize a team to travel there and help with disaster relief. You will need supplies such as food, drinking water, first aid items or construction items, depending on how you plan to help people, a truck to carry your supplies and some strong, willing workers. When tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes hit, the damage is widespread and anyone who comes to help will be useful. Before you start working, contact local authorities to find out where your relief team would be the most useful and learn any precautions you should take before starting your aid project.
In most cities there are plenty of places where you can volunteer your time to make a difference in people’s lives. Nursing homes, hospitals, food banks and community centers are great places to start your search. You may find one of these places a perfect opportunity for humanitarian service because it brings you into contact with people and their needs. This option is good for those who want to do humanitarian work but lack the organization skills or desire to launch a large-scale project.
Asha Kalyani has more than seven years of experience writing about linguistics, language learning and many other educational and cultural topics. She received a Master of Arts in applied linguistics and enjoys teaching and interacting with people of all language and cultural backgrounds.