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Published on March 26th, 2018 | by Jones

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What it means to work for a welfare NGO

You may or may not know what it is you want to do after school or after your tertiary studies. The opportunity to work for a welfare NGO is something you can choose to do permanently or part-time, regardless of your after-everything plans. What you may not know is what working for a welfare NGO means or entails.

Hopefully, after this article, you will have a greater understanding of the world of welfare, find interest, and see how you can contribute to a society through the NGO industry.

Asking for time and resources

All NGOs really ask of you is your time. Whatever time you have to give as a volunteer or as a permanent member. And, along with your time, you bring whatever resources you can. Be that your time, your marketing skills, your comforting personality, your ability to lead or your dedication to make as much of a change in as many peoples lives as possible.

The premise is that everyone has something to give and nothing is too small. Everyone can make a difference if they set aside some time and see where exactly they can focus their efforts to help an NGO.

Take you travelling

If you were to work full-time for an NGO, there is the possibility that you will be travelling often and over long periods of time. If you fancy yourself an independent person who is keen to travel and stay in humble accommodation, while being emotionally mature enough to work in and respect a different cultural domain to your own, this could be for you. What it’s not is travelling for pleasure, that’s for sure.   

It’s when you travel to these suffering countries and societies that you begin to realise the reality and severity of the some of the world’s societal problems.

The real world reality

And these realities can be quite shocking. You need to be a strong person to be able to witness famine, poverty, disease, conflict, violence, brokenness and natural disasters. There’s nothing that can really prepare you for the things you’ll see, the people you’ll meet and the lives you’ll lose, save or change.

Working for a welfare NGO means that this will, likely, be your everyday reality. You’ll witness unbelievable living conditions and shocking societal norms. But, it’s definitely a working environment that will remind you every single day of why you’re here, what you need to do and give you the motivation you need to push through and change lives.

Exposure to medical emergencies

You’ll be exposed to a variety of things when you work for a welfare NGO and you’ll be working with people who are suffering from a variety of diseases. Some of the medical emergencies you’ll be exposed to and work with are cholera, ebola, malaria, HIV/AIDS, measles and tuberculosis. Other emergencies include abuse, mental health problems and pregnancies.

If we were to look at only one of those emergencies, such as malaria, we can provide more insight as to what you can expect. Using the NGO example of MSF malaria efforts, their work in field research has helped to prove which treatment is more effective for adults and children with malaria. They also distribute mosquito nets that are treated with insecticide to those more vulnerable to contracting malaria (pregnant women and young children under the age of five-years-old). They work with people suffering from symptoms of fever, vomiting, headaches and shivering in order to relieve their pain and provide them with a treatment option when they have no other means of treatment.

You’ll be working as a symbol of hope to the people in the societies you are assigned to and it’s important that you are able to cope with the realities and exposure.

Facing and conquering challenges

Working for a welfare NGO means you’ll be confronted with challenges and expected to rise above them. Environmental, economic, governmental and emotional challenges will be a common occurrence, but knowing that you have the support of the organisation behind you and the graciously donated resources with you, it’s an incredibly empowering experience.

The challenge will always be to change the lives of those sick, shunned and suffering. And you will find new ways to treat, cure, comfort and improve the standard of living for those people. There won’t always be the best technology or enough resources to work with, but working for an NGO means that you will have to make it work.

Gaining immeasurable experience  

The main reason why most people decide to volunteer and work for a welfare organisation is because of the immeasurable experience that is gained from doing so. Experience that can be used when deciding on what to study after a volunteering period, experience that leads to self-reflection that will change you in the best way and motivate you to do more.

The experience you gain from working for an NGO will definitely be something that can have a positive influence on the rest of your life.

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A keen writer, giving advice about work and life.



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