The First Step is to know about the organization you might want to work with. Check out their website and their latest missions. Try putting them in a search engine and see what third parties have to say, or maybe even past volunteers. Make sure to sit down and make yourself a list of questions.
What is the time commitment?
Are they religious or non-denominational?
What will be my support structure?
What is their political affiliation?
Will I have to pay my way or will they pay me?
What type of experience is required?
Is it a mobile mission or a permanent project?
These are only some of the questions that need to be asked. The biggest thing is to be open minded. Though not all organizations are religious, a lot are. Africa gets 60% of its aid from religious organizations. Though these organizations do incredible work, if you are not a religious person you may find yourself in an awkward position when you have to attend daily prayer sessions or attend church every week. Be honest with them and yourself about what type environment you want to work in. A vast majority of religious organizations are very open minded themselves, and don't require you to be of the same religion. GNI has no religious component at all, but half of our partners are Catholic or Christian ministries and to date we have never been required to attend church or incorporate religion into our project plans. In the end we all have the same interest in taking care of people and making the world a better place.
The Second Step is putting yourself out there. Update your CV/Resume' and start emailing. The International Medical Volunteers Association is database of professionals that can be searched by organizations in need of personal. You can list you contact info, experience, desired location and time commitment on their site for possible upcoming missions.
The Third Step, once you have been accepted into a program you will have to compile all your information. They will most likely need, copies of your medial licenses, drivers license, passport, vaccinations, and certifications. You will need to have medical clearance from your PCP or a copy of your last physical stating you are physically capable of going on the mission. They will also require you to sign a waiver releasing them of responsibly should anything happen to you while working with them. See our Travel Advice section for further information for preparing for a mission.
UBelong is a social venture based in Washington, DC
that was founded in 2009, focusing on
international development, health, and education.
Through thier two programs, Immersion and Expedition, they've mobilize individuals for one-week to six-month volunteering and educational placements to advance international development efforts and promote cross-cultural understanding. They're activities are complemented by the UBELONG Fund, a philanthropic arm that supports the international volunteering movement through education, fundraising and research.
Their health project in Huancayo, Peru lets volunteers work in medical facilities serving
disadvantaged communities. Volunteers collaborate with the
local staff to provide quality healthcare. They also share public health
information with patients to empower them to become more proactive in
managing their own health. Volunteers live in Huancayo and work in local
clinics and hospitals.