I’ve always wanted to go on an international volunteer trip; I had grandiose dreams of single handedly changing the world. At the very least I would make a significant different in which every community that I chose to grace with my assistance. After the volunteer portion of the Becoming Globally Engaged class, I have drastically changed my views. I don’t want to be just another ignorant American, giving short term solutions to long term problems.
I still plan to make a difference, but I know that my portion is going to be small, no one will see it, and I will be the only one to know I contributed at all. But now I understand that the best contributions come under those conditions. I no longer plan to personally volunteer internationally. Now I entertain grand plans of donating money to volunteer organizations who send people with the knowledge they need to help people help themselves. My personal volunteering will be kept in my own community, where I know the problems and I can help figure out a lingering solution.
The best part of this new plan is that I can contribute to international efforts while simultaneously working on the problems that face my community at home. Also I don’t have to worry about whether or not the efforts my volunteer group put it will come to a grinding halt after a year: I will know that there is an organization keeping an eye on everything. Also, thanks to this section of the class, I have several great ideas on who I can start donating to, once I’m done with college!