Science and technology

Tuesday, 27 May, 2014 - 07:30

Online volunteering

by IainG

Technology is everywhere.  We see it any place we go and, in fact, almost all of us carry some piece of technology with us every time we leave the house.  What I always forget, though, is just how useful and powerful technology can be when we want to help others.

There is not a single room in my house that does not have some gadget lying around in it.  Whenever I am at home, providing that I am not sleeping, I am almost always using at least one electronic device.  If you walked into my living room on any given day, you would find that, first, I have the television on (along with the other related appliances, such as the DVD player or my current favourite games console). At the same time, even though multi-tasking is definitely not my strongpoint, I usually have my laptop resting on my knee, or I will be using my tablet or mobile phone. In the background, the technology that I am not using will most likely be on charge somewhere in the house.  Even when I’m not at home I am constantly using my phone, and at work or in cafés, I sit down and connect to the local wireless network on my laptop.

I must admit, though you have probably already guessed it, that I waste a lot of time on the computer and the time I spend on it could be much better spent if I were to commit to a little online volunteering.

The technology we carry about everywhere can have a great power to do good for the world and to help others and recently I discovered just how much online volunteering there is to do in the world.  From using your language skills to do translations, to developing and managing projects and helping with IT work, there is so much that so many people can do to help people in their own countries and across the world.  The United Nations, in fact, has a huge page on its website designed for recruiting volunteers. 

This work can support the poor and help charities who otherwise would not have the funding to pay for staff.  Many organisations only require you to work an hour a week – some even less.  And the support provided by online volunteers can really help make a difference to those in need. 

Note from editor: the United Nations website about online volunteering that Iain mentions in his post can be found here: United Nations website about online volunteering.

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Have you ever heard of online volunteering? Would you like to be an online volunteer? 

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