Which NGO should I join to teach?

Help abroad: Where are serious aid projects available?

follow your heart

Especially if you want to help with aid projects abroad for the first time, i.e. do volunteer work abroad, it is important that you go to a country that you are really, really interested in.

Social or ecological engagement in itself is a strenuous undertaking. Add to that the culture shock that you will inevitably experience. Since volunteering often takes place in distant developing or emerging countries, the difference between the culture of your home and host country can be particularly large.

In such a situation, you shouldn't additionally burden yourself with the burden of having traveled to a region that actually goes against your grain.

So follow your inclinations and interests. When you are motivated, it becomes easier to overcome difficulties. You are not a trained development worker, but a voluntary volunteer.

Help is also needed where there is still electricity and running water

Quite a few people strive for a place of work in extreme situations during their first volunteering assignment and thus set their own standards too high. Don't let spectacular media reports mislead you into thinking that you have to dig deep into the bush for your commitment to be worthwhile. If so, then almost.

There are aid projects abroad even where there is still comfort that you are used to at home. Your volunteer work will be exhausting enough.

If you really feel like turning your back on Western civilization for a while, go ahead. But maintaining a small comfort zone is just as legitimate. So it doesn't always have to be one of the poorest countries in the world. And maybe next time you will go a little further.

Volunteering can also benefit you

Do not forbid yourself to combine your commitment with something that brings you something. Psychological and sociological research has shown long ago that engagement is not just altruistic.

Do you want to go to a Spanish-speaking country to improve your language skills through your volunteering? Are you hoping that volunteering in India might spice up your résumé as well? Have you always dreamed of visiting an African national park?

Granted, that may well influence your choice of location. There are useful things to do everywhere, and it is legitimate to combine the pleasant with the useful.