Do you have an altruistic attitude to life? Do you have an unselfish concern about the welfare of others? Do you feel that you could motivate others? Do you feel you can improve other people’s quality of life?
If the answer to these questions is YES then it would seem that you’re perfect material for becoming a Volunteer!
What is voluntary work?
Voluntary work is considered an activity which involves contributing to the community. Volunteering promotes community values such as shared aims, team spirit and social equality, unity and inclusion. In Malta, voluntary work has been seen in many sectors of society such as: education, youth, culture, sport, health, social care, humanitarian aid and work with minority groups.
So why is it a good idea for young people to get involved in voluntary work?
The importance of volunteering has often been looked at as a means of social development. In spite of this, the seeds of helping others are possibly rooted in us from a very early age as schools throughout the world spend time teaching young people the values of learning and giving back to society. So it is very important to focus on the positive aspects of volunteering:
- Volunteering empowers young people. The responsibility of getting involved within the community makes one feel valued, a respected asset to society, thereby increasing one’s sense of self-worth.
- Volunteering is a great way to make new friends with others who share common interests. This helps one develop a networking system and social skills that could be very useful in later life.
- Volunteering provides a voice as one will be able to use one’s ideas and opinions to the development or implementation of a vision or activity.
- Volunteering is good for the mind and the body. One can benefit from a boost in self-confidence and self-esteem, which contribute to feeling proud of oneself and more fulfilled in life. This enables a more positive outlook towards life.
- Volunteering provides an identity in life which will lead to a personal power that will make decision-making easier.
- Volunteering helps combat the feeling of isolation and loneliness. The support system provided by organisations helps you deal with stressful situations in challenging times.
- Volunteering provides an understanding of a career which may interest you. Gaining experience in the dynamics in the workplace, teamwork, problem-solving, organisation and management training will be very helpful for future life. It may also expose one to networking systems that will be beneficial to a career choice.
- Volunteering can be an escape route for a hectic lifestyle. It could be the spark that recharges your flair for creativity, enhances your abilities in life, motivates you to stay in education, gives you confidence and builds you a vision for your future.
What to ask yourself when looking for volunteering experiences?
There are so many benefits to being a volunteer but the more satisfaction you receive from volunteering the longer you will remain a volunteer. Ask yourself the following questions when looking for a volunteering experience to find out what placement will be right for you:
- What are your interests?
- What would you enjoy doing?
- What are your goals in life?
- What responsibilities do you wish to take on?
- How much time can you dedicate to an organisation?
- What is your transport situation?
More Help with Volunteering
You can find out more information about volunteering and volunteering opportunities through the following links:
- Malta Council for the Voluntary Sector http://maltacvs.org/
- DegreePlus at the University of Malta http://www.um.edu.mt/degplus/voluntary_work
- SOS Malta http://www.sosmalta.org/volunteering