I recently wrote a bunch of articles about volunteering opportunities for different professions. Here are some excerpts from the stories for volunteering in a building-related or artistic role.
Here is an excerpt from Volunteering Abroad for Building and Construction Trades:
Volunteer Builders, Plumbers, Electricians and Carpenters
It takes five minutes in a developing country to notice that many buildings need maintenance work if not tearing down and rebuilding. Stories about poorly constructed buildings crashing down in poorer nations are so common they stop making news. The devastation after the earthquake in Haiti revealed that many of the buildings were not built to last or withstand an earthquake. Worse, the country needs rebuilding. News reports about fires in badly wired dwellings killing their inhabitants are also common in the developing world.
There is, in fact, endless need for anyone with skills to construct new buildings and bridges in poorer nations. It is not necessary to be a building industry professional. In some cases all that is needed is energy and hard work: carrying bricks across building sites, for example, and digging trenches.
In Volunteer Abroad Opportunities for Creative Artists I cover opportunities for fashion designers, artists and graphic designers, illustrators, jewelry designers and photographers.
There is a perception that the only skills needed in developing nations are doctors, nurses, builders, and psychologists. This is simply wrong, exacerbated by media accounts focusing mostly on disaster and relief.
Just as there is a huge range of business types in the developed world, so are there in the developing world, including artistically oriented businesses and organizations.
Volunteer Fashion Design and Pattern Making
Nigeria has a thriving fashion industry, as does South Africa. One need only take a cursory glance at Fashion Africa to see some of the rising stars of African fashion. Ghana and India are both gaining well-deserved reputations for fair trade fashion and both have a need for skilled fashion designers to help them reach their potential.