The future of economic development has the potential to be filled with more and more success stories where international volunteers assist communities in every part of the world to eradicate poverty. International volunteers can partner with locals to help eliminate food insecurity, reduce deaths from preventable causes, and ensure the next generation is healthy and well-educated, regardless of gender, race, or circumstance. How can international volunteers be part of this future? By becoming new international volunteers.
New international volunteers practice best development methods and reject approaches that have not worked in the past. They distinguish themselves by knowing why they volunteer and how to maximize their efforts to help those around them. New international volunteers adhere to the role of liaison and act as an extra set of helping hands for whatever locals need assistance with. They fulfill this role by bringing resources to their projects and creating awareness. They always listen to locals and adhere to their vision. The new international volunteer does not recognize themselves as a frontrunner but rather defers to locals in the host community as experts, creators and leaders.
Ready to dive in? Take the pledge below.
As a new international volunteer, I pledge to act sustainably in all I do, prioritize inclusion by partnering with locals, and arm myself with the knowledge I need to be an asset.
I pledge to do no harm as a volunteer, ensure I have the needed skills for the project, prioritize the people I volunteer for over my own interests, and be a liaison and an extra set of helping hands, rather than a leader.
To learn more, please check out my book, The New International Volunteer: A Hands-On Guide to Sustainable & Inclusive Development, available here.