If you are reading this, then you are probably already thinking about volunteering – Sounds great! Perhaps you’ve considered how it could fit into your schedule, or asked your friends if they know of any suitable projects.
We are a community of volunteers, and we know that it is not always easy to find the right place to start volunteering at. That’s why we’ve prepared these three tips for you. Keep reading!
1. Look inside and find your own passion.
We all have something we are passionate about. Yes, you do too! But sometimes it takes a little work to find it. You might have something in mind that relates to your education, your hobby or your job, or perhaps you are someone who enjoys taking risks and trying out something new every now and then. Ask yourself some questions: How do you best utilize your free time? What do you like the most in your daily life? Maybe, you look forward to playing sports with friends, or you enjoy creative activities, or you like engaging in conversations with colleagues from different countries. Once you know what you truly enjoy doing, the trick is to find a project that aligns with your interests. Indulging in something you feel passionate about really helps you to give your best while enjoying what you do.
2. Motivation and commitment are important.
Playing sports with children, assisting elderly people, doing crafts with individuals with disabilities, teaching German to the newcomers etc. are only a tiny fragment of opportunities, the possibilities available out there are simply limitless. But what is most important is, regardless of what you choose to do, we think it’s imperative that you feel committed to the task, the team and the people you are working with and that you are motivated. Compassion and empathy are also vital ingredients as volunteering can be very emotionally challenging at times. Also remember that volunteering is a great learning opportunity so just observe, listen, participate… and let it inspire you!
3. Get ready to learn.
Isn’t volunteering about supporting others? Yes! It is definitely about engaging with your community through your motivation, talent, and ideas, but in the process, volunteers also learn new skills and are enriched by the invaluable experience. We all gain something instrumental from each other. So, get ready to know a whole lot of new people, polish some skills, enhance your knowledge and learn things you would have never imagined – Perhaps, a few words in a new language? Some yummy cooking recipes? Interesting tricks to play a new board game? Some helpful public speaking practice?
About the author:
Elisabeth is a journalist passionate about migration, diversity, intercultural relations and gender studies. After many years of volunteering in her hometown in Spain, she joined non-profit organizations in Morocco and Sudan. She thinks volunteering is about listening, learning and sharing. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Migration and Intercultural Relations (EMMIR) while being an active part of the Go Volunteer Communications Team.