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The Joy of Volunteering Part 2 — Why Everyone Should Find Time to Be a Volunteer
June 22, 2017

View the video transcript in English [PDF 123kB].

By Mimshach Obioha, 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow, and Celestina Obiekea, YALI Regional Leadership Center West Africa–Accra Participant

Volunteering has never been more important than it is today. With the spate of global humanitarian crises and the growing consciousness of alternative problem solving techniques available, volunteering with organizations that are solving societal problems gives people the opportunity to be part of the solution. Volunteering to help people in your community leads to your personal development and to the development of that community and the country at large.

Not only is volunteering important in meeting human development needs, fostering citizen participation and promoting people-centred development, it could also contribute to the building of financial assets, entrepreneurial capacity, social capital, institutional development and participation in community governance. Volunteering focuses on building the adaptive capacity of members of a community to overcome collective adversity.Through this process, local communities grow in their capacity to find solutions to local needs.

Community-level social interventions delivered by volunteers should be in partnership with other local actors, as this partnership could be an important source of social support in advancing community resilience. It also could build and strengthen local leaders and promote democratisation and social transformation.”

Here are some of the benefits of volunteering:

  • It is good for you in the sense that it gives you physical and mental rewards. There is a priceless feeling of satisfaction that comes with knowing that you have helped an individual or a community through your voluntary contributions. More tangibly, it keeps your skills fresh.
  • You actively help to save funds which can be used to provide other needed amenities on a project or in a community.
  • It is an opportunity to gain new experience. Whether in a new field or a familiar one, you can be sure that no experience is a waste and there is always something new to be learnt. Moreover, it looks good on your resume.
  • Closely related to the above-mentioned point is the fact that you have the opportunity to meet and learn from new people. It is about being in the right crowd, with like-minded people whom you can engage in relevant conversations, and these new people can guide you to take the next steps in your career or business. This inevitably engenders your personal growth and self-esteem.
  • It is a chance for you to give back to society. If you thrive in a society and have enjoyed education, safety and basic amenities, you should be able to help maintain the community standards or, better still, improve on them by contributing your time, knowledge, energy or resources to ensure that other people can enjoy the same privileges you did.
  • It is a great way to use your spare time effectively while having fun. Remember: It is a voluntary job; you are allowed to enjoy what you do or learn a new field of interest.