“Intention and drive is what everyone has.
Recognition for it is what everyone wants.
Procrastination just lives in.
Some day - Ultimately everyone wants to make a change.
Is there someone to start today? Now?
To beat the drum and get it rolling?”
I picked up these lines from this blog, and I found them so true. Today’s youth is more empowered, more in tune with the times and more socially aware. Most of us have this desire to do something. However the first questions that one starts asking are, “How do I start Volunteering? Which NGO should I Volunteer with? Where should I volunteer? Is there anyone in the city who needs volunteers for social activities and NGO Organizations?”
The below post attempts to answer few of the questions stated above,
The basic intentions is just to give you ideas about what all can be done, and as you would see there are lot of ways you can contribute. We have tried to categorize this based on the time you can spare and also based on the skills that you possess. We have also tried to give examples in each category, but then it may also happen that these example volunteering options may not be viable for you because of physical location, also the numbers listed below might change even though we would make an effort to keep this up to date. But then easy way of finding and locating similar opportunity near your area we would suggest that you make use off this forum and discussions tab below to get in touch with people/NGOs. You could also send email to us at anupreet-at-aveksa-dot-org.
All the example organization listed below are from Mumbai, but I am sure similar such opportunities exist in other cities. We also have a similar post for Bangalore which you can read here, for other cities, we are trying to come up with similar articles, and for now you can drop a line below in discussions, and we would do our best to connect you to some NGOs near your place.
Also one another way of finding a suitable volunteering opportunity near your place is to get in touch with Sosva. Sosva has this program called VolAct to promote and encourage volunteerism. All you have to do is to go here and fill out a form and they would come back to you with options. iVolunteer also does a phenomenal job of volunteer matching and finding you an appropriate place to volunteer.
As far as where to start is concerned, I guess you could just start off with any of below based on convenience, because once you start doing something, you would realize that one thing would lead to another and yet another. And you would be surprised at how many things you learn and gain, as opposed to what you can give. So here go the different options…
I cant commit anytime, I want to volunteer once in a while when I get time.
- Organize a Blood donation camp in your office. I wonder why people don’t take this up, it is simplest thing to do. There are numerous organizations that would do the needful for you. You just need to call them up, and give them some space (could be your cafeteria) and they would do the rest of getting beds, equipment and everything. For Mumbai you could contact Indian RedCross Society. Phone Number: 22663195/40500400. Contact Person Ramdas Unhalekar,
- Organize collection drives: Collection drives are good 3-4 hours activity which can really make lot of difference. You could collect clothes, toys, newspapers and there are number of people who would need this stuff. For clothes you can contact the local chapter of Goonj which does phenomenal work in redistributing old clothes. For toys you can contact Toy Bank which is an NGO which collects toys and distributes them to various orphanages and schools. Also do read this nice post from Mayank for driving effective collection drives.
- Participate in Eco Camps and cleanliness drives: There are number of organizations which keep organizing eco camps to spread the awareness and also cleanliness drives. Such experiences are very enriching as well as useful for community. BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) keeps organizing such things, their website has schedules of various events. They charge as small membership fees for being part of it though
- Organize a bazaar by setting up a stall outside/inside your office : There are number of NGOs that make merchandisers. These NGOs are very keen to find some channel that could sell the stuff they make.
I can spend couple of hours to spare on weekdays
- Spend sometime in gift wrapping toys collected for distributing to less privileged kids through Toybank. (can we put some more details here, and their hyperlink?
- Teach children, This is something for which you would find numerous opportunities. Also teaching can be both fulfilling and enriching. You could teach maths, science and specially English. Most of the NGOs/children would love if you could just go there and just speak in English and make them improve their English. For one such place you could contact Apanalay. Phone Number: 25481872
I can work only on weekends
- Teaching: Of course you can teach anytime, and as mentioned above you could teach lot of stuff to children.
- Helping Special Children: There is lot of work done by various organizations to cater to the special needs of such children, could be teaching, or helping in making public spaces more accessible to these children. Spastics society of India does lot of work in this are and you could get contact them for volunteering opportunities.
- Reading books for blind children, recording cassettes for Blind children. You could also type brail books on brail typewriter. You can contact NAB National association of Blind. http://www.nabindia.org
I cant travel I want to do something from home
- Translate books: You can do this from any place. There is lot of demand for this these things as most stuff is available in English. One such organization is Katha.
- Write stories for children: Pratham is always in need of stories. Pratham Books could publish the stories with an acknowledgement to you www.pratham.org
- Designing Projects for children: You can try to design projects for children which help then in understanding concepts better, like a project or exercise to teach multiplication or solar system. It can be anything. This is required by lot of NGOs who are involved in teaching.
- Write: There are number of NGOs who would be grateful if you could do a nice writeup on them based on their work. This would enable them to get funding. There are numerous topics you can write on and you could contact us at goli-at-ngopost-dot-org. Other than writing, you could also help NGOs write their business proposals/market PPTs which would really help them in projecting their organization better.
I want to do something related to art, performing
- Teaching special craft to children. If you are good at something, drawing, origami, painting, spare a weekend to teach this to children. Organizations like Apanalay and Pratham would be glad to organize such workshop for you.
- Make promotional material for NGOs: You could design Tshirts, websites, pamphlets, for various NGOs. You could also make promotional films for some NGOs, which would help them in fund raising activities. We are also trying to make promotional videos for some NGOs so you can drop in a line here in the discussions if you want to volunteer.
I am a NERD, and want to do something related to computers
- Making websites for NGOs: Lot of NGOs need this help. And if you are a nerd types, little effort from your side would result in a very useful website for NGO which could use this to create their existence in web and hence reach out to much wider audiences.
I want to do marketing for NGOs
- Marketing stuff for NGOs: Numerous orphanges, childrens organizations, TB patients, make a variety of things, starting from Greeting cards to handbags to candles. Just pick some of them and put it at the office reception for sale. One such organization that you can contact is Creative Handicrafts. If you would call them, they would come and setup a stall of their products in your office.
Happy Volunteering !!
Software engineer by profession, or rather the job that pays, Otherwise, a writer, guitarist, traveler by passion. I write for a monthly e-zine for Sattva, which focuses on social sector, initiatives around Bangalore. Have worked with number of NGOs mostly in educational area in Bangalore......read more