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Restless Efforts: Youth Volunteerism

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Ms. Angella Chizimba

Volunteering as another way of giving back to society has always been something I would go for. According to Martin Luther King, Jr., “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?” From volunteering in college to volunteering after college and finally joining the CorpsAfrica Volunteer program has been a great experience in learning compassion and understanding of others. Though it does not settle in most peoples’ minds, as it is considered time-wasting, I would do it over and over again.  I will share with you why I love volunteering.

The first reason why I love volunteering is that It is an opportunity to improve and leave a mark in my community and country as a whole. This perfects things that am passionate about like bringing change and teamwork. Volunteering gives me an opportunity to explore more in those areas. This is a learning opportunity and a transformational journey. I for one I had an issue in expressing myself, but through volunteering, I have learnt that my voice matters and my thoughts are worth sharing.

For people who do not like to stay idle like myself, volunteering has no time limit. We can volunteer as much as we like or as little as we can. Volunteer to your satisfaction! The fact that you’re doing something brings some sort of fulfilment. Don’t leave a six month gap in your resumé, because you have no job, get busy with volunteering. I have realised that it’s worth the investment.

Volunteering gives me room to make a difference. It helps me to bring hope to people and work with the community to improve people’s livelihoods. This kind of opportunity allows me to confront moral dilemmas, investigate solutions and employ innovative thinking. The volunteering journey itself will change your life on top of changing other people’s lives. It’s a win-win situation!
It is an opportunity to practice skills like collaboration and decision-making and problem-solving. These sets of skills will help an individual succeed in business, the workplace and personally. It could be information sharing, caring for the elderly, orphaned children, an opportunity such as this will help develop an understanding of citizenship. This will also robust real-world experience as most employers look for applicants who will thrive in team settings and take on challenges head on.

Most of all, volunteering enhances interaction. This helps to form networks that strive for a common goal. Such networks will build an individual, help one to see how others view the world, get different views on a subject matter and pick more insights that will sharpen one’s worldview. It will increase self-awareness and awareness of others that will lead to respect.  As volunteers we put our needs aside and address the needs of others.

Throughout my journey I have seen how empathy generating conversations will lead to openness and trust. People will only trust you when they feel safe and you narrow yourself down. Volunteering comes with a lot of things, it’s more like you are challenging yourself. For those people who are excited when they are challenged, Volunteering will simply give you that.  You learn something new at the end of this.  It’s not time wasting, it’s worth it!


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