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COVID STATEMENT: The global pandemic has delayed our ability to plan an overseas mission. But we're working on it :) Together with our partner, Developing World Connections, we currently putting together a plan to send a team to Nepal in 2023. Watch this page for updates, information and everything you need to decide if you will join us!
Here at Heart in Hand, we are passionate about international volunteering that is meaningful, relevant, and responsible (see our blog to learn more about "voluntourism"). In addition to annual volunteer-abroad opportunities led by Heart in Hand, we encourage those with an interest in either short-term or long-term volunteering in another country to learn more about the following organizations (note that we base these recommendations on extensive, first-hand experience with both):
>> Cuso International: Cuso International is one of the highest quality volunteer-sending organizations in Canada. Their focus is on long-term volunteer placements for highly skilled, professional volunteers. The Cuso difference stems from a combination of: volunteer suitability assessment; comprehensive pre-departure volunteer training and preparation; volunteer and employer matching; and long-term partnerships with grassroots organizations all over the world.
Cuso International maintains a diverse roster of global volunteer placements in a variety of professional sectors, including health, education, business development, communications, community development, natural resource management and more. If you are ready and willing to take a leave from your current job/life for at least 6 months (possibly more than a year), and have solid professional experience, you may be ready to:
>> Developing World Connections: Developing World Connections (DWC) is also one of Canada's highest quality volunteer-sending organizations. DWC's specialty is short-term volunteer placements (typically 1 to 4 weeks in duration) on community development projects for volunteers who may not have specialized skills, but have a willingness to immerse themselves in long-standing DWC partnerships. DWC partners actually set projects according to community need and priorities, and provide local work crews to supervise and manage the volunteers.
In fact, DWC's mandate is to ensure that all their volunteer projects are sustainable, community-led, and alleviate poverty or promote human rights and empowerment, and they do so through well-established, long-term partnerships with the global charities to whom they send volunteers. If you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get shoulder-to-shoulder while building a latrine, school or irrigation system, then you may be interested to take the next step:
Location: Renfrew, ON, Canada
Frequency: Weekly or biweekly, up to you!
Duration: No minimum commitment :)
The Problem: A huge amount of medical supplies are thrown away in Canada every day. Meanwhile, people all over the world suffer from a lack of access to such supplies. Not Just Tourists (NJT) is addressing this problem by collecting surplus medical supplies, packing them into suitcases, and sending them to remote, non-profit clinics around the world!
The Opportunity: NJT runs solely through the hearts and hands of volunteers in chapters across Canada, and in the UK and USA as well. Our local chapter, here in Renfrew, Ontario, is headed up by the founder of Heart in Hand. And we need help in a variety of tasks on a weekly or biweekly basis. This includes activities like "packing parties", sorting supplies, picking up supplies, delivering suitcases to travelers, and so on.
The "Ideal" Volunteer: You do not need medical training, since all sorting and packing of the medical supplies will be done under the supervision of our Medical Advisor. This volunteer position is flexible, and ideal for: medical/nursing students, working professionals with time on the weekends, retired/senior individuals, and anyone with a sense of humor and willingness to contribute.
Need more info?
Ready to sign up? :)
The next time you take a trip or go on vacation, consider taking an extra suitcase! Not Just Tourists moves unused medical supplies to countries where they are urgently needed one suitcase at a time, via everyday travelers like you!