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The key to success is choosing a volunteer opportunity that matches your skills, interests, and availability. Once this becomes clear, you can start looking for a good volunteer opportunity.
Volunteering can be a rewarding and memorable experience, but with so many opportunities available, it is important to be careful with your choice. The quality of your experience will determine how you will benefit from this great human adventure.
Define your goals:
There are many ways in which one can volunteer. You can volunteer in your community, online or on the other side of the planet. You can work with refugees, the elderly and children. Or for example helping out in disaster areas or in greening your environment. Lots of options!
Once you decide to volunteer, the first thing to ask yourself is:
- What are my goals and expectations?
- How much time do I have available?
- What kind of tasks would I like to do?
- What skills can I offer?
- Eurodesk has developed an online test to help you assess the most suitable volunteer opportunity for you. In the end, various examples of programs will be presented as a source of inspiration.
Look for opportunities:
There are many organizations that offer volunteer opportunities. The European Union offers you great opportunities to volunteer both locally and internationally with the European Solidarity Corps program. You can enroll in the program if you are between the ages of 17 and 30, but you must be at least 18 when you join a volunteer project. Once selected, everything is arranged for you!
If you want to embark on a new adventure and dedicate yourself to helping others, you can sign up for European Solidarity Corps today! You can also search the database of accredited organizations for contact details of organizations that may be looking for volunteers for their projects or browse various opportunities and apply directly from the site. Still not clear about what kind of activity to do? Take the European Solidarity Corps Quiz!
On the web you will also find private organizations that suggest programs to volunteer abroad, and be aware that some of them can be very expensive.
Here are some interesting organizations and databases for volunteering opportunities:
Check out the volunteer work you are interested in:
You will find a lot of different opportunities on the Internet, as there are many organizations that are welcome to help you. However, you must ensure that these organizations are reliable. There are hundreds of corporate websites that no longer exist, do not actually exist, or do not do the work they claim to do. Even if you see an advertisement on a website dedicated to volunteering, you should remember that these sites are not responsible for the credibility of the organizations they advertise.
In short, you should always investigate an organization, not only by visiting its website but also by speaking with its employees, to find out what the organization is trying to achieve and how its volunteering program works. Trusted organizations will have no problem answering all your questions and getting you in touch with former volunteers.
Keep in mind that even if you choose a seemingly perfect opportunity in a trustworthy organization, things still need time to run smoothly and you must be patient. Not every volunteer job is right for every volunteer, and while one job may not be perfect for you, there will be dozens of others that meet your needs and expectations.
The Center for European Volunteers (CEV) has published a toolkit to help you assess volunteer opportunities. It will be useful, during the decision-making process, in order to find the most appropriate action to take.
Check these opportunities:
- kleinVerhaal funded scholarship in Belgium.
- Working in the United Nations UN Volunteers
- Wellenreiter Funded Scholarship in Germany
- Writing and preparing academic topics
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- letter of intent
- Research proposals
- Personal Statement
- Recommendation letter
in addition to full application for scholarships and university admissions).
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