This is the continuation of the previous blog entry. This time, even more people from different countries comment on volunteering. David (USA), Nadia (Russia) and Rachel (China) were so kind to give me information about volunteering in their countries. Let's go global!
I met David (20) in Ireland four years ago. We both were in the exact same education programme. Studying together was fun and besides that we also did a lot of different activities together. The contact remained until today. Due to his busy schedule he was only able to leave the follwing words for me:
„Ok I see. I my self haven't done a much volunteering but I feel like a lot of the time when people do volunteer the motives can sometime be selfish. Here in America volunteering can help you get experience for a job or help with college admissions which is the reason a lot of people do it. Also I feel like there is a psychological aspect to volunteering where people just want to feel good about themselves.“
The opinion of a scientist might be very interesting as well. So I chose Nadia (23) from Siberia in Russia to state her view of volunteering as well. It was especially nice to get into contact with her again after she left Slovakia to continue her studies in Russia.
"People usually think that volunteering means to do something for free and get back nothing. That is not correct. Volunteers have a lot of profits: new impressions, skills, friends and acquaintances. It is an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Volunteering is not a sacrifice but exchange.
But for me “the dark side” of volunteering is: if you take part in a grand, ambitious event as a common soldier, there will be no place for your creativity or improvisation. That's why EVS for me is a unique kind of volunteering because you can make your own project and it will be supported by your hosting organization. In general there is another problem related with the first one: you should find out in advance your goals and objectives to be not disappointed at the end.
My volunteering background is not so big (as it could be:)). I have been a volunteer for the protection of local forests in Krasnoyarsk, for the exhibition of Mathematical Research Institute of Oberwolfach, for the World ski orienteering championships and for the European Voluntary Service in the Slovak organization “Slatinka”.
Voluntary projects are important because it is an easy way to make relations between people (in case of international projects – between countries and nations) more friendly."
And once again, thanks to the international environment of my college I was able to get into contact with Rachel (19) from Hong Kong, China. We already planned half of our student life I feel like and it is super nice to have an impression of volunteering from China! Thank you very much Rachel!
"I am enthusiastic about helping people. I am talkative and friendly, it is easy for me to get along with others. I love doing voluntary work. I participated in flag-selling and rattle ticket selling for charities. When I was in secondary school, I joined the Hong Kong Auxiliary Medical Service Cadet Corps. I played an active part in the cadet corps to acquire useful skills and develop my leadership ability through group activities and training. Through regular training, I have learned more about first-aid and basic etiquette. On behalf of the cadet corps, I was a volunteer in a Marathon and some public activities. My duty was to help some seniors, taking care of people who got hurt. I can learn more first-aid skills at the same time. I have learnt to be a more responsible, respectful, and reliable person. I found that helping people is a source of happiness.
I cannot represent the opinion of all Chinese people but I think in Hong Kong people have a lack of time to do voluntary work. Hong Kong people need to work all day, even when they have days off most of them do not want to spend it on voluntary work. People always overwork, only teenagers or the elderly are more willing to be a volunteer when they are free. Sometimes, people do not want to be a volunteer but they have to because of some kinds of pressure. When I was in secondary school, my school forced us to do 10 hours voluntary work every year. Most of the schoolmates do it just because of the school rule. I think this makes volunteering no longer ''Voluntary"."
Thanks a bunch for the nice statements! I think these two blog gave us a good insight into opinions on volunteering worldwide. Again, thanks to all participants, ou gave this blog a splash of internationality!
Luka Paul Vethake
source of intro image: https://goo.gl/FDRFph
(The original source of this article is Strategic Culture Foundation
Copyright © Federico Pieraccini, Strategic Culture Foundation, 2017)
Quote of the day:
"Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns."
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