7 Life-Changing Humanitarian Volunteering Opportunities

Do you feel like your normal routine is getting in the way of your doing something great for the world? Do you wish the world was a better place in general? If this sounds like you, it is never too late to start making a difference. There are thousands of humanitarian organizations, charities, and causes around the world that you can lend a hand to in your spare time, all dedicated to various causes like hunger, child abuse, slavery, human trading, health and disease, violence, war relief, and countless more...

Here is a list of 7 for you to do some research on and consider volunteering your time to today.


CARE is a worldwide humanitarian organization founded in 1945, initially dedicated to providing relief to survivors of the Second World War. Today their main objective is a fight against global poverty. CARE operates in 90 countries and helped to provide relief to up to 72 million people in 2014. Some of their current projects include relief for the Syrian refugees, and empowering education for girls. You can find ways to get involved and/or to make a donation on their website: http://www.care.org/.

2. Doctors Without Borders

If you are a doctor and are looking for a change from the daily office or hospital floor, consider volunteering for Doctors Without Borders. Up to 2,000 volunteers from 45 countries participate every year by working at hospitals, disaster sites, refugee camps, and small towns and villages to provide relief in the form of healthcare like vaccinations, medications, and surgical procedures. They also partake in sanitation programs and nutrition and wellness training, and help to train local medical staff members. You can find more information at their website: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/.

3. International Rescue committee (IRC)

The International Rescue Committee was founded in 1933 and is a volunteer organization dedicated to assisting refugees with emergency relief, resettlement, rehabilitation, education, healthcare, and other services around the globe. In the United States, the IRC assists refugees and immigrants in resettling and adjusting to life in their new country, including education and skill development so they can find the means to become self-sufficient. You can find volunteer and work opportunities at their website: http://www.rescue.org/.

4. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF was established by the United Nations for the purposes of ensuring the survival and protection of children in the United States and throughout the world. The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 for its humanitarian efforts, and they continue to advocate for children’s rights and provide relief and rehabilitation services in the case of emergencies. You can find more information on all of their services and programs at their website: http://www.unicef.org/.

5. Books For Africa

Books For Africa is an organization dedicated to providing books and reading materials to children and students of all ages in Africa. They are the largest provider of donated books to Africa and have shipped a total of 34 million books to 49 different countries since its founding in 1988. In recent years they have also begun shipping computers and electronic books (ebooks), and have helped build five new libraries on law and human rights in 21 African countries. Visit their website and give $0.50 to send a book to a child in Africa today. http://www.booksforafrica.org/

6. Amigos de las Americas (AMIGOS)

Amigos de las Americas was founded in Houston, TX in 1965 as an international non-profit organization dedicated to providing community services and leadership to communities throughout the Americas. The group allows high school and college students from all walks of life to work with local communities and address issues like health and education. Volunteers are immersed in the lifestyle of the communities they assist in order to gain perspective and find ways to collaborate with the community members to come to a successful resolution. There is also a local branch here in Minnesota, and you can chat with someone about volunteer opportunities on their website: http://amigosinternational.org/.

7. Children’s Heartlink

Children’s Heartlink is a private (meaning non-government) medical organization that assists underserved ares of the world with cardiac care, specifically to children with congenital or acquired heart disease. They currently operate in nine countries, including Brazil, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Ukraine, India, Ecuador, Kenya, and South Africa. You can make a donation at http://www.childrensheartlink.org/.