Most people especially those living in developed and democratic nations never really understand the extent of human rights violations not until they witness it through media reports or first hand when they visit countries where it happens. For a number of people, witnessing human rights violations has become the catalyst that makes them want to play a more active role in fighting such ills.
Volunteering in overseas programs has therefore become popular among many people who believe in social justice and social action. Through this article, we are going to share a few pointers on how you can join an overseas human rights program.
Step 1: You need to cultivate an open mind
When you have grown up in a society where everyone gets to enjoy their human rights, it’s okay to want people who haven’t had this privilege to get to enjoy it too. However, one must always remember that Rome wasn’t built in just a single day therefore you must be open minded enough to understand that advocacy initiatives for human rights will take time to bear fruit.
Step 2: Ensure that you are psychologically prepared
When volunteering in overseas programs that involve advocating for human rights, you must always be cognizant of the fact that you will be exposed to people living under very inhumane circumstances and this can have a negative psychological effect on you. It’s therefore advisable for you to ensure that you are mentally prepared before you enroll to such a program.
Step 3: Always be prepared to learn
When you are overseas, the probability is high that you will be dealing with people from a different cultural and overall socioeconomic background from you. Dealing with such different people will require proper knowledge and understanding of their cultural contexts. You must therefore take your time to learn from others who have been there before you so that you can do things right.
Step 4: Get the right skills
When volunteering, you’ll always be called upon to play different roles therefore it’s a good idea for you to take time and learn a couple of different skills because being multi skilled will make you more valuable to the team. You should create a perfect balance between your technical skills and your interpersonal skills as all will come very much in handy in the execution of your tasks.
Step 5: Strengthen your integrity
As a volunteer representing your organization and by extension your country overseas, you will need to be a person with very high integrity. Different situations will come up where your integrity will be tested therefore you must be prepared to weather the storm and come out through it with a clean conscience.
All in all, never forget that the reason you chose volunteering is so that you could make a difference in the lives of marginalized people in need of their human rights to be respected.