Volunteerism in a simple term is an act of actively seeking opportunities to assist individuals or communities in need and make continuous commitments to provide assistance, and sustain these commitments over certain periods of time, often at considerable personal time and cost. The act of volunteering is usually beneficial, not just to the recipient of the voluntary service but to the individual rendering the services. Through volunteering, people build their resilience, gain a sense of responsibility for their own community and promote nation building.
Volunteering is not assigned to a particular age or group, an individual can try volunteering at any age to help build a sense of purpose. Volunteering is important irrespective of age or gender, it is a vital technique to help give an individual’s life a new meaning and direction particularly to people in their early career stage.
In addition, children can be encouraged to inculcate the habit of volunteering, this can only be done when they watch their elders volunteer. Children pick up habits from their immediate environment, when they watch adult volunteer and give back to their communities, they learn that volunteering makes a difference and creates a feeling of self-sufficiency. It is important to identify community based organizations and activities that provides volunteering opportunities and creates a platform for individuals to make a positive impact in their communities.
Importance and benefits of Volunteerism
The benefits of Volunteering cannot be over emphasized. Volunteering helps build safer communities, increase the social network, promotes social inclusion, involvement of vulnerable and marginalized social groups, creating a civil society, social action, in community and nation building.
In addition, the act of volunteering enables individuals to develop great leadership, interpersonal and communication skills, increase individual’s self-esteem, expand their career paths and actively engage in problem solving activities that promote sustainable development in their immediate communities.
When deciding to take a volunteering position, find a position that suits and supports your life and career goals. It is important that that your commitment aligns with the organization or group you seek to volunteer with.