So you decided to volunteer, but you can’t decide on the right organization to collaborate with. There are important factors to take into account when choosing a volunteer organization. In this article, we will try to help you make your decision based on informed awareness of some of the possible options that are available.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) vs Governmental Organizations
If you volunteer for a governmental organisation, you will have the confidence of knowing that there will be a strong organisation to direct you and that you will experience more certainties than adventures; there will be more direction than autonomy and more supervision than freedom. In summary, you will be a small cog in a very large wheel.
If, on the other hand, you choose to work with an NGO, you will have an altogether different experience. They can listen to governments, but they are free to take different courses of action. They are not so large so you would be more visible while working in them and more able to make a name for yourself. A major advantage that they have over governmental organisations is that they leave room for initiative and autonomy of operation.
For-Profit vs Non-Profit
If you want business experience, a For-Profit organisation will give you plenty of that. In a For Profit organisation, the bottom line is what matters most and you will get lots of experience of how a business works and garner exposure to different branches of the organisation if you are lucky and if you secure a good placement.
You will have no less exposure to business practices in a Non-Profit organisation, but you will have the satisfaction of volunteering in a place where profit is not the overriding motivation. In some ways, it seems more in line with the concept of volunteering to be working in an NGO.
Assessing your Skillset
Ideally, you should contribute what skills you have. If you are a native speaker of English or even fluent in English, you have a skill which is readily transferrable to an overseas posting. It is desirable if you have some experience with teaching English or a certificate in TESOL as that will make life for yourself and your students easier and more productive. You may not be confined to teaching English and other skills may open up opportunities for you to contribute in different ways during your assignment. Those skills could include mechanical or technical ability and computer proficiency.
Where in the World you Would Like to Work
The world is vast. There are many countries crying out for help where your contribution would be highly valued. Southeast Asia, in particular, has a growing need for English language instruction due to the advent of ASEAN, as well as it having become both a regional and an international player in business. Extensive involvement in a volunteer program anywhere abroad would open doors career-wise and give you a great amount of valued experience that will benefit you in both employability as well as enrich you culturally.
Trellis is a non-profit NGO that provides educational opportunities to underprivileged communities in Vietnam. To lend a hand and give a future to the new generation of Vietnam through volunteering to teach English, check out our program and volunteer in Vietnam.