International Volunteering & Careers

International aid organizations/ NGO's "swarm"

Grief after tsunami in 2004

July 8, 2018. International NGO’s are slightly different than their grassroots cousins. For one, international NGO’s usually have funding; whereas many grassroots organizations on sheer commitment and zero budgets.

The international NGO’s tend to “swarm”: move the hot spots together. Picture 2004 – the earthquake in Banda Aceh and the tsunami that followed. Almost every international NGO swarmed to Banda Aceh to offer help. The Oregon based NGO, Mercy Corps, tripled in size to serve the need and became a major player in international development.

NGO’s swarmed to the Balkans and former Soviet bloc in the the !990’s; and later to Afghanistan and South Sudan. Now there are more aid organizations responding to the Syrian refugee crisis. We have some great volunteer opportunities working with Syrian refugees. Check out the MENA page.

What, the dickens, is an NGO? And what role do NGO's play in the world?

An alternative to the slums of Kampala

June 29, 2018. NGO means non-government organization. NGO’s are a critical part of international development and humanitarian work. NGO’s often pick up the slack – where governments leave off or do not provide services.

For example, NGOabroad is partnered with a Bolivian NGO that builds roads, clinics and schools in the remote, remote parts of Bolivia. In areas of the world that are cut off, a road is life changing. As I saw in the remote areas of Bali on the flanks of the volcano, Mount Agung, a road was life changing: people could now take their produce to market and get goods and services too.

Another example of the NGO doing work that a government might: NGOabroad has a fascinating new placement, helping build homes so that people can leave the slums. In some countries, housing is handled by the government. In developing countries, governments rarely have that kind of money in the budget. (Or in corrupt regimes, the national wealth is going into the pocket of the president rather than addressing the needs of the people.) So consider volunteering in Africa helping people leave the slums and have decent homes! Or tutoring in our secondary school started by citizens!

June 17, 2018.  The new website is finally finished and live! This is something like a summit register on top of mountain. After months of work,  we have finally reached this pinnacle. Many thanks to Leslie McGee,  Susan T. Beer,  Alissa Bell,  Jay Borseth and Kingsley Northcott for making this this new website possible. Thank you, thank you for all your help!

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