It seems like everyone in the world is asking you to volunteer. So I ask myself where and what can I do to donate my time, to cause a change? This is confusing. I have been volunteering my whole life. This story is why I chose to go to Thailand and become a part of the International Humanity Foundation ( IHF ). I live in the US and Cancun, Mexico. Soon, I will be going to Chiang Rai,Thailand for one year as a co/director of an orphanage.
The International Humanity Foundation, IHF has four locations in Indonesia, one in Kenya, and one in Thailand. This is part of their mission statement. Which I am very proud to be part of.
IHF is a non-religious, non-political, non-profit organization that strongly believes in an equal opportunity for all and in preserving the cultures, traditions and beliefs of the marginalized communities it works in.
We established the centers in Kenya because we wanted to work in a country where famine existed but that was also relatively safe for our volunteers to work in, so they could visit famine stricken areas to personally see what the effects of hunger on society are, to learn what the signs of malnutrition are, and to help those who face malnutrition.
The Thailand location in Chiang Rai was established as a preventative measure against the trafficking of children as sex slaves, which have been a major problem in the region since the Vietnam War. According to the UN, human trafficking is the third largest portion of the black market in developing nations after the trade of illegal arms and narcotics and this fact is unfortunately prevalent in Thailand, a country where sexual slavery has started incorporating into the tourism industry.
Indonesia has IHF centers in Jakarta, Bali, Aceh, and Medan. These centers primarily focus on educating children through the TEP and Class Sponsorship programs with some centers teaching over 400 students. The centers provide an informal place for children from lower economic classes to work with volunteers, which teaches the children to feel comfortable with people from different backgrounds at a young age.
These days everyone is asking for money, which of course is needed but how about the ultimate donation… yourself. How about donating a week, month or a year of your life to help another human being. There is a guarantee that comes with giving a part of yourself, and it far exceeds any dollar amount you have ever been paid.
Don’t even let the question enter your mind… “What could I teach?” Everyone has life experience that can benefit others. The lesson I have been told that I will learn is: “I am the student.” Keep in mind you can make this a family volunteering affair. Bring everyone and join us in making a difference in the world. For more information go to the I.H.F. website.