By Jessica Lyons
Kids Can Make a Difference
This non-profit organization describes itself as a 'global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.' It focuses on middle school and high school students and aims to fight hunger and poverty. Teachers and students can find out ways to get involved in these global efforts, such as by educating others about the issues, volunteering, writing letters to elected officials to get the word out or even organizing fundraisers.
Habitat for Humanity International
Since it was founded in 1976, Habitat for Humanity International has built more than 400,600 affordable homes for those in need all around the world. In addition to working in the United States, other areas that volunteers build in include Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Latin America and Canada. Students could decide to volunteer on their own or they might even be interested in getting a group of their classmates together to go on a volunteer trip.
Formed in 1986 in Kenya, Global Routes gives high school and college students a chance to get involved through the foreign exchange community service programs they coordinate. While working in small rural areas students could help build a school or community center or even teach some of the local children. Some of the places they could find themselves volunteering in are the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa or Asia.
United Nations Volunteers
Each year, more than 7,700 UN volunteers do work in one of 130 different countries. Students interested in promoting democracy could chose to be involved with local or national elections in some of these countries by helping to organize the actual elections or run them. Volunteers also assist with humanitarian and peacekeeping projects.
Amizade Global Service-Learning
Individuals of all ages volunteer through Amizade Global Service-Learning, which was created in 1994. They work alongside the community leaders in the nine different countries the organization is involved with. Past projects have included artifact restoration in Auschwitz, running camps in Jamaica that served at-risk youth, building schools in Bolivia and working on health centers in Ghana.
Students interested in making a difference might also want to consider volunteering during a gap year.