By Robert Wheatley
Humanitarian work is often regarded as extremely valuable: it’s knowing you’ve truly made a difference to people’s lives in places of unrest, and have acted altruistically to help those in need. What is more, having any form of volunteer work on your CV is a smart move, and one that can truly help you stand out among the crowd; especially, as with Aimone’s case, you desire to pursue humanitarian work.
[Credit & person in photo: Aimone Sharif]
Aimone Sharif is a recent graduate of the University of Hertfordshire, and while she completed her degree in Sports Studies, Journalism and Media Cultures, her desire to help others has inspired her to diverge into pursuing a Master’s in human rights and social law. To do so without an undergraduate degree in law makes the situation a tad more difficult, but Aimone understands that pursuing work that promotes human rights is one effective way of boosting one’s successful application to a Master’s.
Her project, a social and humanitarian effort led by leading international volunteering association Projects Abroad, will see Aimone travelling to South Africa from the 16th April to the 3rd May to help those in dire situations. Volunteers have the possibility of getting involved in sports coaching, teaching positions, environmental work, and even journalistic opportunities. Despite being a journalist at heart, Aimone realised that if she wanted to pursue humanitarian work, the human rights and social law enterprise offered by Projects Abroad would be the perfect opportunity.
“I wanted to work on abuse and rape cases against women, social rights cases, and issues of freedom of speech, especially in countries where women are often oppressed. I’ve always been a feminist at heart, and that attracted me to this cause,” Aimone explained.
What one does on this humanitarian project varies based on not only one’s abilities, but also, according to Aimone, how much one can handle without being overwhelmed.
“It can be hands on if you want it to be, but if you would prefer to relax your mind and do paperwork, that’s fine. For me, at least, that sort of office job is for the future: it’s always been me to be hands-on, so for this project, I want to be on the front line assisting people in need directly.”
Because of the nature of the project, Aimone must raise some money, and while she has already raised £105 so far, she has a while to go until she reaches her actual target. To gather some funding, Aimone plans to try a variety of methods to raise the cash, including taking some inspiration from comedian Kevin Hart.
“Kevin Hart decided to become more than a comedian and inspire people by training for and successfully completing a marathon after months of hard work – he did it all for charity,” explained Aimone, referring to the American actor who did indeed raise a whopping $300,000 for the Help From the Hart scholarship program.
On that same Idea, Aimone would like to raise money for her project by challenging herself physically. From a young age, Aimone has been mortified of water but is now ready to learn how to swim and make us part of her journey, and document her expedition on social media.
Other ideas to raise funds include ‘bagpacking’, where one helps people in stores to quite obviously packing their bags for a tip; holding a raffle and movie-night combo and even spending a night on the street.
“In South Africa, poverty can be so severe, so if I were to show the stages of homelessness and the severity of the experience I could fundraise to eventually help those on my trip,” Aimone explained. “I’ll have to do this soon, though, as time’s running out.”
While these donation-driven ideas should aid her funding, the best way for people to support her project is to visit her Projects Abroad fundraiser page.
“I’ve linked to the donation page on my Facebook and Instagram, so people can donate to me directly. Otherwise, talking to friends, sharing the donation page on Facebook and other social media will help loads — you never know if someone comes across it and might want to help with the project!”
To support Aimone on her travels, you can visit her donation page below, or simply share it on social media. When she’s on her travels, make sure you follow her progress, as she’ll be documenting it all on her Instagram!