The primary reason for volunteering is to help others, but fulfilment is not the only thing the volunteer gains. Mechanical student, Rafiq Rylands, volunteers for Mustadafin Foundation, a non profitable organisation which serves the communities and bases its core functions on the needs of the oppressed, says besides the amazing feeling of fulfilment he feels that his contributing to the future of the country.
“It’s the youth of today that’s going to lead us tomorrow. I gained a skill that will benefit me in the future. I facilitated life skills, workshops and mentoring of the youth from underprivileged areas. Who knows, I may have saved a few kids from a life of poverty and drugs,” says Rylands.
It starts with you
Giving back is optional but when choosing your volunteering activity it should be based on your interest at heart.
“Volunteers should chose something that is close to their heart and that they will enjoy doing for an organisation that they believe in,” says Fiona Budd, Marketing & Communications manager of CAF Southern Africa, which is an independent non-profit organisation that promotes and facilitates effective giving, volunteering and social investment.
Never look far
Giving time as a volunteer is a very important way in which people can contribute to their communities. There are many ways to volunteer. Budd says that volunteering can be tiring work so one should start small and don’t over-commit then not being able to deliver in terms of time, effort or commitment.
Budd suggests the following:
It may be just for a short period of time or a once-off event such as helping with renovation and repairs, assisting with a street collection, caring for children or the aged, or organisation of a special event.
One can offer one’s skills (for example in the field of IT, training, website development, marketing, graphic design, etc)
It could be a longer term commitment such as serving as a board member or becoming involved in special longer term projects, for example an ongoing conservation programme.
Contact your local NGO whose work interests you and enquire as to whether they have any volunteering opportunities or areas where they need assistance.
Here are a few organisations to check out:
(Picture: Volunteers from Shutterstock)