Volunteering is a wonderful, compassionate gift that gives to both the people it’s there to help and those who dedicate their time and skills, right? Not always. As with all things, it’s important to do volunteering with an outlook and an understanding of the future. To be mindful of those you’ll be helping.
Non-profits for profit
In some parts of the world, ‘orphanages’ are created with the pure intent of making a profit. Sometimes the children housed in these orphanages aren’t even orphaned and are simply placed in these orphanages by their parents with the pure intent of having their children exposed to a ‘Western Influence’ provided by volunteers from the US, UK, Australia and other parts of the world.
This is despicable in more ways than one; firstly it’s exploiting innocent children for the sake of profit and secondly; it’s exploiting well-meaning volunteers. This is just one example of volunteering that’s probably best avoided.
Transparency is key
It is therefore extremely important for volunteers to ensure that the organisations they decide to help are transparent and completely honest with the intent of the programs they provide. At Dreams to Reality, it is not our aim to create further distress to vulnerable children by simply placing them in a situation where they’ll feel abandoned, again. No, all our programs are structured to provide children with the means to become confident individuals, whether it be though computer or sports training or simply by providing a much-needed helping hand with their school work.
It is also important to note that our programs aim to provide routine, stability and structure to children’s lives. Most of the program fees paid to Dreams to Reality goes towards volunteers safety, accommodation and meals, with the rest going towards the foundation to ensure that the programs are able to continue to run year after year, thus becoming a constant resource for the communities within which it functions.
The valuable role of volunteers for the future
Volunteers with the Dreams to Reality Foundation perform an extremely vital purpose, and without them we couldn’t continue our work. We wouldn’t be able to see the positive changes in the children’s lives we touch and we wouldn’t be able to grow to the capacity where we’d be able to have a positive effect on other communities.
Don’t take volunteering lightly
Volunteering can be a fun and enriching experience, but not a decision that should be entered into lightly. Make sure that when you choose to volunteer it’s with organisations that are transparent about what they do. The fundamental gain of any type of volunteer program should be on the side of the individuals it’s helping, without exploiting those who are so willing to dedicate their valuable time and energy.