Volunteer Abroad…From Home!

While I often talk about my experience volunteering abroad in Thailand, I realize that flying to a remote location or spending money on flights and programs is not something that is possible for everyone. So what can you do if you want to help people abroad but cannot leave home?

One organization that I work very closely with is Aid the Nations, whose mission is to provide orphaned children in Uganda the opportunity to become powerful and self-sufficient leaders of tomorrow. While these children, who have been the victims of a 23-year civil conflict, hold the power to change their lives for the better, they need a lot of help. Thankfully, there are many ways to do this without leaving your hometown.

1) Help Fundraise

Organize a community carwash, bake sale, or book club with friends with the proceeds going to help children in Uganda. Not only will you be having fun with your friends, but you’ll be helping out a great cause! Another idea would be to create donation cans and ask local business owners if you can leave them by the register, or even ask business owners directly for a tax-deductible donation. If you are feeling ambitious, ask local bands/musicians to do a benefit concert on behalf of Aid the Nations. Or, ask a local club or bar if they would be able to hold an event for Aid the Nations where a portion of the proceeds can be donated to Aid the Nations to help children in Uganda.

2) Become an Aid the Nations Ambassador or Volunteer Intern

There are many positions available, such as marketing, documentary creation, corporate partnership, grant writing, public relations, and more! As goes with all positions of leadership and innovative thinking, you will attain skills that can be applied to real life situations, especially in terms of finding a job. These skills can be added to your resume as well as discussed in interviews. Potential employers love hearing about creative ideas and implemented programs, and becoming an ATN Ambassador is your chance to come up with initiatives that can change a nation.

3) Become a Penpal to a Child in Uganda

These children love having something positive in their lives to look forward to, such as sending and receiving letters. You can learn a lot about the culture of Uganda through a child’s eyes by asking them about their hobbies, favorite foods, career ambitions, and what they do in their daily lives. To stay up to date on the program and learn more about future penpal opportunities, go to http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Aid-the-Nations-Penpal-Program/174743472541516?sk=wall  and join the group!

4) Participate in the Aid the Nations Causes Application on Facebook

The Aid the Nations Causes Application allows users to donate to ATN by performing a simple activity, for example, watching a 10 second advertisement. If you are prompted to perform an activity that you do not want to do you are given the choice to skip to the next one. What is really great about this application is that three to 10 cents automatically gets donated to Aid the Nations, depending on the activity being performed.
So if you have even an extra minute to spare please visit the Aid the Nations Causes Application and help raise money for children in Uganda!


5) Spread the Word

Spreading awareness about the situation in Uganda can help educate others and bring them to action. One particular aspect of the problem in Uganda that would be helpful would be to spread awareness of the problem of Malaria is one of the most important steps towards solving the problem of this killer disease. Tell friends, family, and coworkers about this devastating problem and together help to save the children of Uganda from Malaria.

To learn more about Aid the Nations and how you can them fulfill their mission, visit aidthenations.org or follow their blog at http://futureofuganda.wordpress.com/

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