When I was working for an NGO a few years ago, one of my responsibilities was managing an English school for refugees.
The heart and soul of this school were the incredible people who committed to teaching one or sometimes more classes per week – the volunteers. They are the ones that make a non profit organisation work. Without them NPOs could pack their bags and give up on their mission.
When I was recruiting, organizing and working with volunteers I often felt like they were better people than I was. By that I mean that although I worked my butt off for a ridiculous salary it was still my JOB and I did at least get SOME material compensation for the work I was doing whereas the volunteers were so reliable and put so much effort into their task without getting anything in return.
Of course I did know that volunteering pays back in other ways and that in fact that kind of reward was obviously exactly the reason why I was doing the job myself instead of looking for a better position with more financial stability. Still, I was constantly in awe of these selfless people around me.
They became examples and role models for me and since my time at that NPO I’ve often thought about volunteering myself.
Today I actually believe that it is the duty of every privileged person in this world to donate time (or at least money) to help others who are less fortunate. Be that people or animals or our environment. By privileged I mean “better off than the majority of people on this planet”.
If each of us does their bit then we can make a difference!
Finally – after this long time of thinking about it I am now finally and officially a volunteer!
Last week I committed to help out with translations as well as with media design at an organisation that follows a similar principle/motto to what is also the central idea behind this blog – start with yourself and then spiral out to change the world.
“Responsible me – responsible home – responsible school – responsible community – responsible nation.”
Particularly their new, ambitious campaign caught my attention and convinced me that NOW is the time to finally become a volunteer myself.
This is what it is about:
“The Proud2b Me Foundation – an NGO whose mission it is to bring about positive social change in South Africa – has embarked on a unique nation-building campaign themed, “Responsibility, It Starts With Me”, which could see thousands of community members undergo intensive training in the fundamentals of family planning, family responsibility, their role as individuals and/or parents in society etc in an effort to create more loving, supportive and above all responsible families in our communities (…).”
I am happy and proud to be part of this now!
What about you? How would you like to help YOUR community? How would YOU like to make a change? Or – if you are already a volunteer – what do you do?