Top 3 humanitarian aid groups reviewed

There’s no shortage of amazing organizations out there looking to make a positive difference in the world. As many humanitarian aid groups as there are, there’s never close to enough, and we could always do with a few more do-gooders looking to help those in need.

The choice to make the world a better place always starts from a single individual: you could be the head of the next great humanitarian group that changes the world for the better, but you could end up doing just as much good as a volunteer for one of the already-established organizations. Here are the top 3 humanitarian aid groups reviewed, although each member of the category is worthy of praise.

Humanitarian Aid Groups

Red Cross: You’ve probably heard of this massive humanitarian organization that’s been around for over a century. What started as an army aid group quickly expanded to become one of the strongest forces of good on a global level. These days, Red Cross offices and operatives can be found everywhere: from impoverished parts of the U.S. to destitute parts of Europe all the way to Africa and the Middle East. Likewise, their mission evolved from ‘merely’ helping with wartime issues to providing assistance to everyone who needs it, from the poor and sickly to those who are down on their luck and need some support. If you’d like to become a member of the Red Cross, you’ll have no trouble finding an office near you and the requirements are fairly lax – all that matters is a clear desire to help people.

Salvation Army: For some reason, the Salvation Army doesn’t seem to get nearly as much praise as it should. Perhaps some of it stems from the fact that it’s essentially a religious organization, more specifically a Christian one – many people have a problem with religion and have a feeling that working for religious groups would be a step towards indoctrination. Others might have an issue with the organization’s army-styled system of command, ranks and everything. But no matter your opinion on the specifics, one thing is clear – in the last 150-some years since its foundation, the Salvation Army has done more good than most aid groups can ever hope to. It focuses on receiving donations that are converted to food, medicine and shelter for those most in need, and the group could always use additional volunteers for its cause.

UNICEF: They say that children are our future, and the good people at UNICEF agree wholeheartedly. Short for United Nation’s Children’s Fund, the group specializes in improving the present and future of children in over 190 countries around the world, be it by finding them better-suited homes, providing them with a proper education or simply by ensuring they have unlimited access to food and water. While it’s been running ‘only’ for around 60 years, UNICEF made the most of this time and is now the premier children’s aid organization in the world, their impact being felt in virtually every area of the globe no matter how prosperous it might be.

The child adoption process

It’s safe to say that most people want to have children one way or another, even those that wouldn’t be caught dead admitting it. When people think of being parents, they’re usually thinking in biological terms: finding the right person to parent a child with and raising someone who is your own flesh and blood.

But there are other ways to become a parent – ways that are oftentimes more rewarding than the ‘standard procedure’. If you’re considering making an addition to your family, have you thought about adopting a child?

Without a doubt, every adoption completely alters the course of a child’s future, almost invariably for the better. Still, the process can be intimidating to some, and not every parent ends up being satisfied with the choice after everything is said and done. To help you make the right decision, here is a better look into the adoption process and what it means for the parents as well as the children.

The first decisions – the most important ones?

The first thing you think about should be whether an adoption is a good idea for you and your family. You might want it, but what about your partner? Equally as important, do your biological children want it? Make sure not to skip this part of the adoption process – you don’t want to feel as if you forced anyone to do anything. You won’t just be changing the life of the child you’re adopting, but also the lives of everyone else involved.

Moving on, consider where the ‘adoptee’ will come from. Is it going to be a child from a far-out corner of the world? Yes, the prospect is appealing – these children are usually those who need a better life the most. But bringing a child into a different culture can spell a lot of difficulties as he or she tries to integrate into a foreign world. It’s more than just the odd looks from bystanders you might receive – your child might grow up to feel like an alien in its surroundings, especially if you adopted past toddler age.

The nitty-gritty details

To adopt a child, you might want to connect with an adoption agency and see what they can do for you. These entities specialize in bringing the right parents together with the right children and will employ various means of finding the best match. In general, expect to have your home, living conditions and parenting potential closely scrutinized to maximize the efficiency of the process.

This is another reason why it pays to know where the child should be coming from. As appealing as they are, consider that many ‘international’ adoptions cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or more just to bring the child to you. To make matters even more difficult, many children from impoverished zones will have pre-existing health conditions that will incur a lifetime of additional expenses you’ll have to be willing and able to deal with.

If this option is too costly for you, think about an adoption closer to home: foster care adoptions will usually cost nothing, and you might even find yourself eligible for monetary support from the state. The children in your city or state that are in foster care need a good life every bit as much as those from abroad do, and you shouldn’t overlook them on your way to becoming a foster parent.

How to get involved in a 3rd world clean water project

Aside from air, water is the most basic necessity human beings can have. Being made up mostly of water, we require a constant stream of the life-giving fluid in order to stay healthy and develop as we should. A clean water project team can help in many ways. One member of our team was from Boerne, Texas and was sponsored by a local carpet cleaning company.

It’s quite a tragedy, then, that so many people around the world dream of having clean water even in this advanced day and age. Many of these limitations are geological – while over 70% of our planet is water, not all of it is clean, and some are unfortunate enough to live in very ‘dry’ places with minimal water sources.

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Still, there are things you can do to help these people get the most basic life necessity. One of these (and perhaps the most efficient one) is getting involved in a 3rd world clean water project that helps quench the thirsts of many.

Donations and sponsorship

Thanks to the way our society works, we’re able to help people in far-out places of the Earth without ever leaving the comfort of our own homes. One of the best ways of accomplishing this is by making a donation to one of the many water-building projects, such as those focusing on building wells, water systems and rain traps in Africa.

The more you can donate, the better, although every donation will help bring water to someone’s lips – as insignificant as a donation of $10 might seem, it’s an important cog in the engine. Every thousand such donations means another village with access to clean water and, as a result, greatly improved health of its residents.

If you enjoy somewhat larger means, you can directly sponsor a project to bring water to a village or even a smaller town. Since you’ll be the sole benefactor of this project, you’ll probably be looking at costs that amount to tens of thousands of dollars, although the money will be paid back multifold in gratitude by the people whose lives you made better. After all, what’s more empowering than knowing you were the biggest driving force behind giving water to hundreds of people?

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A more hands-on approach – doing the building yourself

If you’re truly burning with the urge to help and feel as if a donation doesn’t do enough (or if you aren’t able to make one of satisfactory magnitude), consider being part of a project that builds the aforementioned water-delivering and storing infrastructures.

Becoming one of these helpers is far from being the most difficult aspect of the whole thing. There are dozens of clean water organizations around the world, and each of them is strapped for volunteers and would like nothing more than to add a pair of able and willing hands to the fold. Simply reach out to a few and express your wishes and what you can offer them – most of the replies will likely be a variation of “How soon can you start?”

The toughest part will be leaving the comforts of your life to go to a less-fortunate region and witnessing the hardships that its people endure on a daily basis. For many, taking a significant break from their everyday life (career, friends, family, relationships) will be too much despite the positive impact it would have. If you belong to the other group – the group willing to make the sacrifices in order to help – you’ll enjoy the feeling of knowing your own hands built something that delivers clean water to people and lets them lead a healthy and balanced existence.

Humanitarian mission trip to Mexico

Have you dealt with an urge to help others in need for most of your life? These days, there are more opportunities to do so than ever, and you’re able to choose the group of people that calls out to you the most.

The world can seem like a very unfair place, and not all of us were born with the same opportunities and same palette of choices to make. Still, there are ways to make it right for people whose voices aren’t heard nearly as often – by helping improve their quality of life however we can.

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As much as we love it, few can argue that Mexico isn’t a polarized country. On one hand, you have affluent neighborhoods, lively festivals full of people rejoicing, a strong industry, amazing beaches… On the other, you have extreme poverty and people struggling to make ends meet on a daily basis, often living in conditions that no human should be living in.

If you’d like to help these people have a better life, there are many ways to do so, but none of them are as direct and powerful as participating in a humanitarian mission trip to Mexico.

Taking part in such a mission – what to know

If you’re going to Mexico with the intention of helping, don’t expect to be spared from any of the hardships that its people experience. If you grew up in a well-off area, you’ll probably be shocked by the conditions found in many humanitarian trip destinations.

This initial shock proves overwhelming for quite a few people and they end up going back to their homes without having done much at all, preferring not to think about what they saw instead. This is fine, but in your case, make sure you won’t get overwhelmed by what you see, hear, smell and feel during your trip – if you do, you’ll just end up disappointing yourself as well as those you were trying to help.

The ways to help during a humanitarian trip

Many of these trips revolve around meeting people’s basic needs, and there are very few needs more basic than having a good roof over your head. Hence, there’s a good chance you’ll be tasked with helping build someone’s home, be it through restoration or from the ground up. You’ll have to get down and dirty for this, and you’ll probably be working long hours exposed to the Sun’s peak level, but it’ll all be worth it – every brick you lay will work towards securing a better future for someone.

Another common way of helping is by providing medical treatments to some of Mexico’s less fortunate residents. Some of these treatments will center around providing much-needed medicine to those with no real way of getting it as well as treating chronic and severe conditions. Others might include help over issues that aren’t as urgent but are every bit as important – ear-nose-throat and ophthalmologic check-ups, blood tests, chiropractic and skin treatments and much more.

Regardless of what your role in the mission ultimately proves to be, your contribution will likely be felt for generations to come and you’ll enjoy that rare feeling of being absolutely certain you did the right thing.