Lending a helping hand and volunteering not only helps the world become a better place, but it also has positive influence on your own wellbeing. For many, this might be a bit surprising, but those who actively volunteer regularly are no strangers to this information. What can you do to get involved and start volunteering regularly? Surprisingly, the answer is read some books.
There are many books devoted to this subject. The following are the 5 best to get you looking in the right direction.
The End of Poverty
This book is an essential must read. Written a decade ago by Jeffry D Sachs, a former economist, it explores global poverty and what is needed to be done to eradicate it by 2030, as predicted by the UN. Sachs presents the problem as an inability of extremely poor countries to reach ‘the bottom rung’ of the ladder of economic development. Through carefully planned economic aid, once countries reach this ‘rung’ they can do the rest of the work themselves, with little outside intervention. Even today this book offers new insights into worldwide poverty alleviation. ‘Sachs, one of the most influential minds on global poverty and sustainability, offers rare and valuable first-hand knowledge on this subject’ says Randy Mondy, a writer at Eliteassignmenthelp and BoomEssays.
2. The Voluntourist
After the death of his father, Ken Budd, set off on a journey of self-discovery through travelling and volunteering. Through his experiences, he shares a personal story of loss and acceptance and rebirth through helping others. The reader gets an inside look at Budd volunteering across six countries, including hurricane relief in New Orleans and refugee support in the Middle East. The book is a very honest and oftentimes humorous take on volunteering worldwide. It is sure to get you into the right mindset to set off on your own journey.
3. When Helping Hurts
When you talk about volunteering, it is extremely important to recognise that sometimes the way in which we help can cause harm in the long run. And When Helping Hurts is a frank and honest discussion about these issues. Written by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert, they encourage readers to look at the materially poor as humans beings, and deserving of compassion, dignity and worthy of respect. ‘Corbett and Fikkert discuss proven strategies that relieve poverty effectively and with the least harm to the people you are serving’ explains Raymond Jennings, an expert at Essay Services and Write My Essay.
The authors dive into how Church based aid can actually create a vicious cycle that keeps the poor in poverty and in need of aid in the first place. They advocate an asset-based community development strategy, using what the community already has which becomes empowering as it focuses on what they have rather than what they do not. This book will change the readers’ mind on what makes effective voluntourism.
4. The New Breed: Understanding And Equipping The 21stCentury Volunteer
Written by Thomas McKee, this book takes a look how to organise and manage volunteers. From choosing the right people, hiring a new volunteer, to getting the most out of your new volunteers, the book offers great insights in how to go about this in the best way. Mckee points out that not all volunteers will want the same experience as another volunteer, and it’s important to recognise this when recruiting. This book will also give volunteers an understanding of an organisation’s view on volunteering.
5. Bonobo Handshake: A memoir of love & adventure in the Congo
This book is a must read if you are interested in animals or doing volunteer work with our furry friends. Written by Vanessa Woods, it is a memoir of her time in the Democratic Republic of Congo with her fiancé, studying one of the most endangered species, the bonobos. While working with these beautiful animals, she recounts her amazing journey of self-transformation and her newfound outlook on love and belong.
Go on, ad these books to your reading list!
This five books are some of the best on volunteering. They each have unique stories and perspectives to share with their readers. Whatever your passionate about, these books are sure to inspire and motivate the volunteer inside us.