Active help: Giving time, attention and knowledge instead of money.
In the pre-Christmas period and at the turn of the year, many people review the year that lies behind them, make a small inventory of their lives. What went well? Where did I encounter big obstacles and challenges? Which encounters have brought me forward, whom have I helped?
These considerations often lead to the desire to pass on some of the good things that have happened to you to others who may not have been as lucky as you are. Surely there are countless aid organizations to which one can donate money or goods with a good feeling. But what can you do if you want to do more than just donate money?
The answer is: donate time! In this article I will introduce you to some ways in which you can become active yourself and improve the situation of your fellow human beings. You will see, there is a lot you can do.
The times when the world’s needy were exclusively at home in Asia, Africa or South America are long gone. Here too, right in front of you, there are people who need help, whether out of material or spiritual need. All you have to do is go through the neighbourhood with your eyes open.
And show initiative. To approach your fellow human beings. At the beginning this costs a lot of effort, but you will see: The feeling that these spontaneous acts of charity will give you is priceless. If, for example, you keep seeing the same old lady all alone in your street, talk to her and ask her how she is. Offer her your help if you notice that she’s on her own with shopping, things to do or long, dark winter afternoons.
Even an occasional visit, a chat over tea, can mean a lot to this one person. If you are concerned about simply approaching someone privately, ask in a neighbouring old people’s home whether there are lonely residents there who would benefit from regular visits.
Do something good for your neighbors Missing contacts are not only a real problem for older people, especially in cities. Fight anonymity in your neighborhood and organize a court festival, a common Advent singing or a mother-and-child meeting in a café around the corner. For many of these activities you don’t even need a room. If you do: churches or parish halls often provide rooms free of charge for such initiatives.
Just ask! Giving away instead of throwing away Also materially it does not go here all equally well. Some things we take for granted (books, magazines, children’s toys, clothes, everyday objects) may be unaffordable for some of your neighbours. An exchange box can help. The principle is very simple: find sponsors, put up boxes, put in things that are still in good shape but are no longer needed. Surely you will quickly find someone who loves crime thrillers just as much as you do or who can use your warm winter jacket, which you don’t wear anymore because yellow doesn’t look so good on you.
But swapping is even easier: I put books I have read, household appliances I don’t need, or good used clothes at our corner to the bus stop. After half an hour there was always someone there who liked to take it with him. Please don’t exaggerate this method and only place individual parts in public places. Another great idea to support directly in your neighborhood is a membership at nebenan.de. This portal offers the possibility to help your neighbours as a babysitter, with form stuff or also with small repairs. If you need then once help, you become there likewise finding.
Engage with others You are looking for a more concrete way to do good? There are many opportunities for this in this country, too. Certainly there are initiatives in your area that you would like to support with active help. Food for everyone, not for the ton In many cities there are so-called “blackboards” where people without a fixed income or with a very low income receive free food and hot food. This institution not only ensures that not so many children and adults here are hungry anymore, but also that less food is wasted.
Reading sponsors give children more than just beautiful stories. You are more the intellectual type than the packer? There are plenty of places for you to get involved. Many schools and kindergartens are looking for reading mentors who can read stories to children in their spare time or read with them and help them to learn. You should only decide on such an activity if you really want to stay with it for a certain period of time on a regular basis. The children build up a relationship with the godparents and are sad when they suddenly don’t come back.
Also children who live in refugee shelters can need this kind of help more than desperately, because they often still have difficulties with the foreign language. Homework help and similar support is also often welcome. Or maybe you even dare to give German lessons for refugees? If you don’t know anyone who is personally involved and can give you tips, you will find helpful tips at volunteer agencies and similar institutions. Help to make our world a better place for everyone. 3rd Out into the world: Active help abroad You are a traveling adventurer?
Don’t worry, there are also meaningful projects and initiatives abroad for you that urgently need your support. A break from everyday life with Sabbatical A longer break from work can give life a whole new perspective. A sabbatical year is an opportunity for many employees in the public sector or larger companies to take a break and use this time for personal development. Usually this is connected with a longer journey. And also here ever more specialists decide to use their Sabbatical for it to stand humans in the poorest regions of the world energetically to the side.
Whether it’s building a community centre in Cambodia, setting up a school in South Africa or acting as interim manager for a start-up in Tanzania, you can provide active help as a temporary consultant anywhere in the world. Organizations like Managers for People or sabbatjahr.org arrange projects for several months or a whole year.
Even if you don’t get a sabbatical financed by your employer and therefore have a tighter budget available, you don’t have to do without self-awareness through active help abroad. There are many smaller initiatives all over the world where you can get free accommodation and food in return for a contribution.
Building Earth Bag Houses in Nepal. A good example of such a mini aid organisation is the Earth Bag Houses project in Falame, Nepal. Even more than one and a half years after the great earthquake, many people in Nepal still live in improvised cardboard stalls or on the streets.
The Earth Bag houses are an inexpensive way to create earthquake-proof housing with locally available resources and building materials. The method is very simple: hard-wearing plastic bags are filled with earth and piled up to form a house. Starting in January 2017, volunteers will be sought for a construction project for a widowed mother.