Environment And Wildlife NGOs
Marian Wright Edelman said, “A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back – but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.” In a life ridden with problems of pollution, poverty, corruption and terrorism, it is easy to assume the role of a passive complainer, observer and by default, a participant. The other option is to stand up, take a stand and fight for your beliefs.
You may find yourself slotted as an idealist, dreamer or rebel but if you can take the heat, a career in an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) might just be perfect for you.
If you are passionate about wildlife conservation or environment protection, there are several NGOs you could work with. While challenging and not necessarily an easy path to tread or the most financially lucrative, NGOs have come a long way in the last decade. Professionals including doctors, lawyers and MBAs are leaving high-paying jobs to start or work with NGOs. Several NGOs even offer competitive pay. Though a graduate degree is usually acceptable, higher education in the chosen field is definitely a plus. NGO jobs are not always advertised and networking could be key to learning about them. Many NGOs take on freshers as volunteers and this is a good way to determine if this is the career for you. Look up NGOs in your area or those working in similar fields. Most will have a website which will tell you how to go about becoming a volunteer and the different activities you can take up. Research, and choose the NGO carefully as there are some that exist merely for publicity or could be just a lobby group for special interests.
If you are looking to do something independently you can begin by starting an eco-club in your college or area. Gather like-minded people, identify the issues and chalk out a game plan of how you will go about solving them. Remember you need to be up to date on current affairs. Read the news and keep track of what other organisations are doing. Talking to people is a great way to understand local issues and you will gain valuable insights from such interaction. An NGO cannot be started overnight; it requires a solid infrastructure, a strong volunteer base, adequate funding and a great deal of time. Joining an existing organisation, which already has the groundwork covered is a good way to get started.
Youth climate leader and co-founder of the Indian Youth Climate Network, Deepa Gupta aptly says, “think globally, act locally and always keep your ultimate objectives in mind so that everything you do is strategic and working towards that mission.”
Despite the long hours and low pay, working with a good NGO can be extremely satisfying in being able to truly make a difference and also being part of a group with similar interests. So go on, get started! Heed the words of Anne Frank who said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world!”
Log on to www.sanctuaryasia.com for more information on green careers.