Volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens, and by purposefully creating opportunities for participation.
“Volunteerism transcends all cultural, linguistic and geographical boundaries. By giving their time, and skills without expectation of material reward, volunteers themselves are uplifted by a singular
sense of purpose” – Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon (5th Dec. 2012)
Volunteerism proves that in every straining, there is a training; in every training, there is a learning and in every learning, there is an earning. – Stacy Mauceri
Service to others is the rent you pay for your room on earth – Muhammad Ali
Benefits of volunteering
ü Connecting you to others
Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network and boost your social skills. One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, especially if you are new to an area. Volunteering also strengthens you ties to the community and broadens your support network, exposing you to people with common interest, neighbourhood resources and fun and filling activities.
ü Advancing your career
If you are considering a new line of career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you are not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace such as team work, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management and organisation.
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provides extensive training. It could help you build up on skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community.
When it comes to volunteering, passion and positivity are the only requirements.
ü Find the right opportunity
There are numerous volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a volunteer position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. It is important to make sure your commitment matches the organisation missing/ needs.
· How much time are you willing to commit?
· How much responsibility are you ready to take on?
· What skills can you bring a volunteer job?
· What causes are important to you?
Don’t limit your search to just an organisation check out other available alternative. The more satisfaction you have as a volunteer, the better your contributions and the more likely you will continue.
ü Getting the most out of it
You are donating your valuable time, so it’s important that you enjoy and benefit from your volunteering. It’s important you enjoy and benefit from your volunteer position is a good fit and communicate with the people you are working with in the volunteer organisation.
Ask questions – if you have any questions, be sure to speak up. If there’s any training involved, who you will be working with, and what to do if you have questions during your experience.
Make sure you know what is expected – make sure you are comfortable with organisation, know what is expected and understand the time commitment.
I don’t know what your destiny will be; but one thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve – Albert Schweitzer