A friend of mine recently told me about this organization, and I wish I had known of them earlier–I love what they are up to and the work of perpetually breaking down barriers. Volunteer Positive is an organization committed to providing international service and volunteer opportunities for people affected by HIV. They empower people living with HIV/AIDS to be global volunteers, domestically and abroad, by educating international organizations that use volunteer service as well as educating and enriching the HIV community, letting nothing stand in the way of making a difference. By being of service, those with HIV break down misinformation and unnecessary fears, so they create awareness and knowledge through person-to-person diplomacy. Their website is a treasure trove of analysis and exploration of the desire to serve and the planning and education that make a world of difference in a service trip, for both the volunteer and the host community/project. There is a wealth of information about how to plan, medical concerns (and topics where there needn’t be concern or fear, part of the education process), resources for how to choose a volunteer experience that will most light your fire, how to negotiate the pre-, during, and post-trip maze of questions and concerns, and several specific trip offerings as well. There are also supportive social networks within the organization so those with trepidation can connect with and learn from others who have gone before, letting nothing stand in the way of their commitment to serve. It is a website we can all learn from, and the care and sensitivity put into how they’ve gathered information and resources is a great model for anyone looking to support all volunteers, overseas and at home.
Go take a spin around Volunteer Positive, click some links, read, and be certain that the road to health, for everyone, is made smoother when you do for others. It’s good for the soul, the mind, and the body.