My Volunteer experience…the benefits of volunteering
Being a volunteer is one task that most people dread because it does not come with a monetary reward. Wikipedia defines Volunteering as a voluntary act of an individual or group freely giving time to a cause. They could be trained specialist such as medical doctors, lawyers, social workers, educators or just hands-on-volunteers.
A few individuals who have had to volunteer always have much more to benefit from the experience. Recently, I volunteered at an inclusive summer camp for children of all abilities. When I undertook this camp, I had the intention of providing my administrative expertise especially as I had some time on my sleeves but the experience became a learning ground for me. I learnt some education delivery skills including making and delivering of lesson plan. I learnt how to deliver hands on lessons to children with disabilities without necessarily using paper or writing materials, above all I saw the positive impact of team work.
The benefits of volunteering can be enormous. It helps individuals gain confidence by giving them the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement. It provides the opportunity to apply classroom learning to practical scenarios that have real implications under the supervision of an expert.
Volunteering provides a platform where you meet and interact with people and easily become a member of a community. Other benefits of volunteering are evident in skills development in specific areas such as: time management, Leadership skills, team work, work ethics, problem solving and creativity.
Volunteering provides individuals with some personal satisfaction and fulfillment. By engaging in a good course, some individuals derive pride and inner joy. Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. By carefully choosing specific areas of your life that you would want to achieve, volunteering makes such dreams come true.
Volunteering allows you try new things with little risk. Due to the stress of trying new things and the huge capital that can be associated with this, volunteering helps individuals to explore new tasks without much worry. This is because such structures have already been put in place by the host organization.
Volunteering is a very important avenue to gaining mentorship. Two school owners shared their experience recently about the point where they chose to drop their career of many years to pursue their dreams of owning a school. Being that the cost involved was huge including the administrative and financial processes, they had to work as volunteers in a big school in their community to build this expertise. This experience not only helped them learn on the job but also provided them the needed mentorship from the school owner.
With all the benefits enumerated above, volunteering should be encouraged from a very early age as volunteering can be fun. Young people should be encouraged to explore different fields of endeavor to widen their horizon and amass necessary skills sets to compete favorably in today’s workspace.