by Dr. Shanthi Thomas
Teen years are a time when an individual is in search of his/her own identity and special place in the world. Volunteering for a cause at this age is very important and useful to help the teenager find what his special interests and aptitudes are. Let us see what the top volunteering opportunities for teenagers in 2021 are.
Volunteering With India (VWI) was founded in 2010 and is suitable for singles, couples and groups above 16 years of age. The women empowerment program is conducted in Jaipur, Rajasthan, for women who live in rural areas and backward villages in Jaipur, India. The volunteer is required to provide basic classes in spoken and written English and Mathematics to women as well as children of 5-12 years of age. Volunteers can also help with skills development and training course, education awareness work, female health awareness program, personality development and income generative skills training. There will be a program coordinator to help the volunteers and guide them. Each volunteer will gain immense personal satisfaction that comes from giving back to the community, and of course volunteer experience working in an under-developed country to add to your CV as well as lifetime membership with VWI after the completion of the program.
E-International Relations is the world’s leading website on international relations with daily publications of unique content aimed at general interest readers, academics and students. The website was instituted in 2007 and has an audience of over 3.5 million readers each year. The website coordinates its activities remotely using Slack. So the volunteer does not have to leave his place of residence to work. The advantage of volunteering with E-IR is the opportunity to learn skills, manage their own time and develop projects independently. All volunteer editors need to spend at least 5 hours a week and commit to the role for at least 6 months. One could volunteer as an Associate Features Editor or Associate Student Essays Editor.
RoundGlass Foundation has been created for development of under-served communities of Punjab in India. The Foundation (RGF) gives valuable opportunities for children to become agents of change. The content writer will write at least four stories per month and interview with beneficiaries to capture the stories. They will have to work with the marketing team of RGF to ensure that the stories portray the mission and vision of the organization. RGF will connect the volunteers to the beneficiaries, and publish the stories on its website and other partners’ website. The volunteer will receive a certificate of volunteering after sending eight stories.
Amnesty Decoders is part of Amnesty International. It provides a platform for volunteers to perform online community service. Volunteers are required to use their computers and phones to search through pictures, documents, and other information related to human rights. These include projects such as finding tweets abusive to women, locating vulnerable villages in Darfur, Sudan, conduct innovative research into oil spills in Nigeria and make oil companies accountable for devastating pollution, and looking through satellite imagery of Raqqa, Syria, to narrow down the windows of damage when buildings were destroyed to decode how US bombing destroyed the town.
Best Buddies International is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The beneficiaries of Best Buddies include people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, Williams syndrome, Fragile X, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities. This organization endeavors to improve the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There are opportunities to join their e-Buddies program—a commitment to email one person with disabilities at least once every two weeks. Participants are matched to a buddy based on location and interest, making this a great way to make a new friend, make a person feel more included, and volunteer.
Girls Inc., founded in 1864, endeavors to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, through direct service and advocacy. This is a fantastic online community service opportunity for high school students who have limited time for voluntary work. Volunteers will work as social media ambassadors who can help spread the organization’s message by creating and sharing social posts that educate girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers and help them grow up, educated, healthy and independent.