Images racing through my mind as I look back at my volunteering experience. As a young girl, growing up I embraced volunteering and community service as my passion. Volunteering has a way of creating in me a sense of compassion and empathy for others.

I have been part of programs and projects that focused on the Sustainable development goals, Gender Education, Health, Leadership, Human rights and Gender based violence.

When I volunteered with VSO in 2016 in a rural community, on a project aimed at securing better livelihoods for the people of the community, I had real life experiences seeing people who were struggling to survive amidst the hardship and insecurities around them.

This has indeed been an eye opener for me, as I have come to identify with the needs and challenges people face on a daily basis. The benefits of volunteering are enormous as it has been part of my personal growth. indeed the experience for me has been very enriching, full of learning and rewarding.

As I reflect on the journey so far, from working in rural communities, painting murals in schools, facilitating empowerment programs and more, I am left with great lessons from volunteering, such as empathy, respect, sacrifice and resilience.

I realize that volunteerism, civic engagement and advocacy are the driving force for creating change and making positive impact.

As I continue to offer selfless service, I am building my confidence and I am been challenged to learn more. So far it has been an amazing journey getting into the world of International Development.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone and Organization that have provided the platform for my volunteering journey. You have been my backbone on my path to Development. I have gained valuable life experiences, met new people and I have made a difference.

(Stella-maris Obeta-Unachukwu)


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