There are several reasons why some people are still looking for Peace Corps alternatives even if the organization already provides a rewarding and fulfilling vocation or endeavor. Among the reasons include the stricter or more rigorous screening of volunteers, the longer period of enlisting one’s self to the service, inability to travel, or perhaps, the low or absence of compensation.
Joining the Peace Corps or any other civic organization develops a person’s sense of responsibility towards other people and countries, inculcates the value of helping, and global community development. But ultimately, it provides the opportunity to experience distinct cultures, lifestyle, tradition, or the least, to travel the world. On the other hand, the beneficiary country gains infrastructure, health, agricultural, and educational improvements with the end goal of local peace.
Here are some of the local and international alternatives to the Peace Corps.
United Nations Volunteers Program
Topping the list of Peace Corps alternatives is the numerous volunteer and internship programs of the United Nations. The United Nations has several sub-agencies, which deal with specific international concerns from peacekeeping, economic developments, education, children welfare, wildlife, and several other causes. All volunteers are centrally managed by the United Nations Development Program or the UNDP. A volunteer can either be assigned locally or internationally like in the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Compared to the Peace Corps, selection of volunteers is also stringer, at times, even tougher. Joining the UN could be one of the best alternatives to Peace Corps especially for interns because they could eventually land on a full time job within the organization.
Joining Several Humanitarian Aid Organizations
Aside from the Peace Corps and the UN, there are also hundreds of international organizations recruiting the services of civic-minded volunteers adhering to the same goals of providing basic aid to several communities, countries, and cultures.
The Habitat for Humanity for example is one of the Peace Corps alternatives, which focus in providing one of the basic needs of human, shelter or homes. This organization also has a worldwide scope especially on the developing countries. Another good example is the Red Cross, which on the other hand focuses on humanitarian health, risks and disaster preparedness, rescue and relief operations, etc.
There is a long list of organizations under this category and an individual can choose whichever he or she prefers. Another good thing about these Peace Corps alternatives is that a volunteer can have flexibility in devoting his or her time without the need to sacrifice work, and regular family activities. These organizations also operate locally and can even welcome the help of the entire family.
Overseas Teaching and Other Project Volunteers
If you’re into travelling but could not commit to more than two years of Peace Corps work, you can alternately volunteer for teaching abroad. International language teachers are a growing demand in almost all countries. Technical, scientific, and IT courses enjoy the same demand as well. Teaching abroad can also be done for compensation.
Other than teaching, you may also volunteer for specific aid or development projects providing Peace Corps alternatives free abroad. They can range from infrastructure, social, economic and educational development or improvement up to the rescue, relief, and peace-keeping efforts.
Local and International Religious Missions
Finally, helping and sharing is not only limited to the physical and material necessities of humans, it also encompasses the religious aspects as well. There are several Peace Corps alternatives related to religion. Several local and international missions or projects related to a particular religion have been established and carried out in the developing countries. The Christian community for example employs not only the clergy to spread the word of God, but the students and ordinary citizens as well who are interested in volunteering. The same goes true with Muslims, Buddhist, etc.