Start small, grow tall Your guide to be­ing a hu­man­i­tar­ian

You don’t have to be wealthy or have a large so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing to be a hu­man­i­tar­ian. Small acts of kind­ness can lead to a life of ser­vice to those in need.

Glamour (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Words by LES­LEY MATHYS

1 De­cide

First thing’s first: take a mo­ment to think about what you’re pas­sion­ate about and which ar­eas you’d like to see change the most. What are your rea­sons for want­ing to help? What would you like to achieve? Un­der­stand­ing your rea­sons for want­ing to pro­mote change will help drive your ini­tia­tives and keep you mo­ti­vated.

2 Re­search

Whether it’s a char­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion you’re hop­ing to help or start­ing your own non-profit, re­search is im­per­a­tive. Get as much in­for­ma­tion on the area you’re fo­cus­ing on, the peo­ple who live in th­ese ar­eas, chal­lenges faced on a daily ba­sis and the im­me­di­ate needs you’d like to ad­dress. Be sure to also in­ves­ti­gate po­ten­tial scams pos­ing as char­i­ties.

3 Prob­lem solve

Think out­side the box when it comes to prob­lem solv­ing. An easy and quick so­lu­tion to of­fer­ing help is to do­nate money. Al­ter­na­tively, look at other ways to help an ini­tia­tive. Vol­un­teer your time, make phone calls, write let­ters to busi­nesses and gov­ern­ments bring­ing aware­ness to your cause, and re­quest help, whether mon­e­tary or in sup­plies.

4 Get ac­tive

Now that you’ve de­cided and planned out your method of spread­ing help, it’s time to get in­volved. Start off small, per­haps with one char­ity or help­ing one or two peo­ple in your own ca­pac­ity. Giv­ing up your time and re­sources can be quite an ad­just­ment, so it’s best to start slowly, you don’t want to feel over­whelmed.

5 Find a men­tor

Yousafzai, We ad­mire Vic­to­ria the Beck­ham, likes of Malala Oprah Win­frey and many other celebri­ties who are ac­tive in their hu­man­i­tar­ian work. How­ever, if you’re just start­ing out, find a lo­cal men­tor who has been in­volved in hu­man­i­tar­ian work and could guide you in the right di­rec­tion. It can be any­one from a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur to a com­mu­nity soup kitchen leader. Find a men­tor who has the same val­ues with re­gards to out­reach.

6 spread the word

It’s im­por­tant to pro­mote your in­ten­tions and work with fam­ily, friends, col­leagues and so­cial me­dia. Sure, you’ll re­ceive some crit­i­cism and ac­cu­sa­tions of do­ing good only to boost your image, but get­ting the word out will only af­ford you op­por­tu­nity for fund­ing, do­na­tions and vol­un­teers. The more peo­ple who know, the more help you’ll de­liver. Look­ing to do­nate to a cur­rent refugee cri­sis? Visit do­nate.unhcr.org/luqu­luqu.

nomzamo Mbatha with the Un Refugee Agency in south su­dan.

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