The following two blog entries will be connected: I would like to go global; to widen my and your horizon! For me it has always been interesting to see how people do things differently due to their origin and culture. So what I wanted to know is how do people from different countries think about volunteering? I tried not only to ask people connected to volunteering but also people who did not get involved yet. Starting with Zaviska (Suriname) and Niki (India) I hope you will enjoy the next blog entries as much as I will.
You know the way sometimes life leads you to very awkward circumstances? This just happened to me. I got admitted to college a few weeks ago and was dropped in a Facebook group wih other international students. Through this group I 'met' Zaviska, a 23 year old woman from Suriname. It is pretty cool how varied the cultures of the next generation of international students are. Please look through the pictures of Zaviska's work displayed above! And now: Read how to volunteer in Suriname!
Right after my 6th birthday my mother became the head of a forster care home. Children of a special district, where there was no secondary eduaction at that time, lived with us. This is when my passion for volunteering started. Since Suriname has a multiple cultures; a lot of people (Children) don't speak Dutch (our official language) at home but have to attend school in Dutch. I remember helping some of the children who became my friends to get better at speaking Dutch. All of this is the point of volunteering for me, it's about contributing to the people around you and to your community in the first place and making such an impact that will help to change someone else's world.
I was just 13 when I became the president of the Kiwanis Builders club St. Louise school, with this club I did alot of volunteering for young children and the elderly. Meanwhile I was an active member of the Boyscouts Suriname. This is where my love for Surinames nature, which later turned into love for the Sustainable Development of the world, started. Small activities we did as members of the Boyscouts, such as cleaning the neigbourhood, contributed to a clean community for ourselves. During my period in highschool I participated as Youth officer in the Caricom Youth Ambassador programme and the Millenium Development programme as a volunteer. The projects with less prosperous children with these programme where my favorite, because I could help a child in his/her progress of becoming the person he or she is dreaming to be one day.
When I became a mother of a girl at the age of 15, I developed more interest in women and child development. I became a member of the UNFPA Youth advisory Group. Currently I'm a board member and with the funds we have we try to make a impact or at least create awareness in women's and young girls's lives. On the 25th of every month, on orange day, we try to do something. Sometimes it might be talking to people in the city. On other days we try to talk about this on social media. During the 16 days of activism last year (2016) we did a few projects, visiting a foster care for girls to give information sessions at highschools and community centres for children, a discussion at the University of Suriname and a ribbon up project.
The only thing I dislike about volunteering is the fact that sometimes you would like to do more but you're not in the position to do so. You might give a child a school bag and everything else to visit school, but you can't be there every day to bring them to school. You might clean up a neigbourhood and tell people to keep it clean, but you can't control every person.
I love nature and I stand for Sustainable Development that why I also worked for a month as a volunteer at conservation international, I had to quit because of my studies at the university by that time but on social media you will always see me talking about Sustainable Development. I'm also a volunteer at the Red Cross of Suriname as blood donor and I might not know the people I'm helping with my blood, but I know I'm saving someone's life. In Suriname I have to be honest that it's a small group of youngsters that work as volunteer (in most of the organizations I was in, it was with the same people) but I think that due to the economic situation and other social circumstances not everyone is able to work as a volunteer. Wherever I go I always try to convince youngsters that not only others benefit from their help but they get something in return too. You wil get great experiences, you will make new friends, you will make life time memories, you will get the chance to lobby and above all you will get God's/Allah's blessing.
Niki (31) is from India now working in Europe as a scientist. We know each other from a club of internationals which regularly hosts events. Recently we found out we both share a passion for Indian food. Hopefully we can manage to cook together one day ;)
"In my opinion its really thing one should at least do once in their life to experience the benefit. People always complain about social problems but never try to get into the middle of the problems and solve it. If you need the change then you have to be the change. In India, unfortunately young people like you are not aware about it a lot because they have just too much burden of studies and extreme competition for every stage of their lives. Hence they become more self oriented and not worried about others problems. Mostly only the well settled and educated group of people get involved in volunteering in India."
I would like to thank both of them for their impressions about volunteering in their own country. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you are as grateful as I am.
Luka Paul Vethake
source of introduction picture: https://goo.gl/lIr0m7
Quote of the day:
"Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
Pass it on."
~Henry Burton, Pass It On
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