With a hurricane battering the southeast, we look at how your new vocation can help.
Right now, Hurricane Matthew is pummeling Haiti, the Caribbean and Florida and it’s about to work its way up the east coast. If you’re sitting in your home wondering how you could help, you might be interested in a humanitarian travel job.
By definition, a humanitarian is someone who is concerned with or seeking to promote human welfare. The best example of a humanitarian travel job would be working for The Red Cross, an organization that has more than 23,000 employees and 330,000 volunteers. The organization hires for many positions, including biomedical, administration and disaster services. When earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and home fires strike, the Red Cross sends specialists to the frontlines—coordinating responses, implementing recoveries and preparing for future events.
Of course this isn’t one of those sit-on-the-beach-and-make-money travel jobs, but working as a humanitarian will allow you to travel and you will get a tremendous dose of satisfaction when it comes to helping others.
As a humanitarian, you may have to fly to Haiti to help with disaster relief or fly to another country to help to deliver goods.
Steve Bertrand, an expert in crisis preparedness who has worked for a dozen agencies ranging from the World Health Organizations to CARE International, says that you can’t just jump into humanitarian work with no preparation. He advises doing some background reading about the places you want to go to, including history, politics and culture. You can do this through books, articles, blogs, and selected social media sites.
If you want to become a humanitarian, you need to be physically able to handle the job. Can you jet from here and there helping other countries in their time of need? Are you healthy enough that you won’t get sick? Some of these areas are infested with bugs or have other potential health issues that could make you sick. It’s important to keep up with your vaccinations to prevent anything from happening.
You should also know first aid. Having this skill will help you to land a job. Other skills you can bring to the table include patience, flexibility and the ability to speak other languages (you never know where you are going to be going).
If you have any medical background that might help with landing a job. Often these organizations are in need of nurses, doctors and medical assistants. There are also jobs for those who are extremely organized and who can help with administrative tasks to help get damaged areas the help that they need.
Not all humanitarian jobs need to be in such extreme circumstances although those are the ones that seem to be needed the most. For example, WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) offers board and lodging for a day’s work on the farm. You can stay one week or a year or more and there are 53 countries available where you can work.
If you want a job in the humanitarian industry, check out Travel Jobs or reach out to the individual organizations that you want to work for.