Guest blog post by Jodie Hewson, Communications Officer, CARE Canada
At CARE we are proud to have some amazing people on our team who have dedicated their careers to humanitarian assistance and international development work. These people travel for weeks at a time, leaving their families and friends to go to sometimes dangerous regions of the world delivering hope and care to the most vulnerable people in the poorest communities.
But this is not the average lifestyle for Canadians.
This blog is for everyday people like me who have a family, friends, bills to pay, vacations to take, and dreams to fulfill. I’ve just recently joined CARE as a communications officer. I love what I do, but I also held much of the same passion for the type of work CARE does well before I applied to work here.
If you are like me, you are grateful for all that we have as Canadians and have the urge to work toward improving the lives of others. This blog is for the people who don’t have the time or expertise to become humanitarian superheroes, but do indeed care.
Below are some tips and suggestions that you can take to fit CARE-ing into your everyday life.
1. Start Absorbing
Knowledge is power. Studies show that the majority of people care about international aid and ending global poverty, but don’t know much about how international development works and have a lot of misconceptions of the developing world (read more here).
Luckily, the world is at your fingertips thanks to the Internet, so start taking steps toward getting a better understanding of what’s going on.
Tip: Start small and try to set out to read just one article or a blog post once a week while you’re browsing Facebook, or playing a game on your tablet. Set a date on your calendar every week to remind yourself.
CARE’s blog is a great place to start. Having just started working at CARE Canada, I find CARE’s work particularly fascinating, because:
- CARE works toward long-term solutions and progress in all the countries where we work (learn more about what we do).
- CARE focuses on working with women and girls who are disproportionally affected by poverty, yet have the greatest ability to initiate positive change for their families and in their communities (Read more here – I find this extremely interesting!).
- The CARE blog focuses on education of issues, defending the dignity of the people we work with and promoting hope for the future. We want to educate the public! It’s a great place to become well versed in some important global issues and stories.
Tip: Add some of your favourite blogs, or newsources to the Bookmark bar on your computer or your tablet, or create a “social good” list on twitter to check up on every few days.
Some great places to look for information:
In Depth News Sources:
Sources on Twitter:
2. Talk about it
As you continue to read and develop your knowledge, something interesting will start happening. You’ll find yourself talking about things you’ve read with other people – your coworkers, your kids, your partner, and your friends. You’ll have a bit more knowledge about what’s going on in the world, and start to develop some compassion for specific efforts or causes. You might even start to look at everyday life a little bit differently.
This is a good sign! The more people who talk about and understand how international aid works, the greater the movement can become toward ending global poverty.
Share what you know and what you’re learning with others. You have the power to inspire them also!
3. Do something about it
There are many ways you can fit CARE-ing into your everyday life. You can talk to your boss about what your company is doing in the realm of corporate social responsibility, or suggest a fundraising event to support a cause that is important to you.
Donations are an easy way to contribute to important causes – just be sure to research the organization that you are donating to, to be sure your money is going where you believe it will go. To learn more about how CARE’s donations help, click here.
Some other ways that you can help support CARE specifically:
This September, you can participate in the Yoga Aid World Challenge, to raise money and support for CARE and other amazing charities. Or, you can hold your own fundraising event.
You should also stay tuned on social media and our newsroom for other ways you can get involved.
The main point:
Not everyone can be a humanitarian superhero. We all have our own strengths, skills, interests and realities. Instead of ruling yourself out of the international development world because you can’t dedicate your life to it, take baby steps, and work toward building CARE-ing into your life as it is. Start small like reading a news article once a week, and talking about it with your friends and family. Donations and participating in events can go a long way to making a difference in your own life and the lives of others.