Thursday, 31 July 2014

Why Volunteer?

We tend to look at volunteering as a sort of free service. A lot of people look at it as a way for the unemployed to get something to do with their own time. Most of the time, we fail to understand  that volunteering is something that should come from our hearts. It's an act that should put another person's needs before my own. I sat down and came up with a few reasons why we should all volunteer towards a worthy cause.
  1. Volunteering helps you make important contacts.
Before becoming a volunteer at Progressive Volunteers, I was a bit apprehensive. I kept on asking myself, what's in it for me? What do I stand to gain? How will this experience help me 5 or 10 years down the line? One reason that really stood out was that I had this urge to use my skills to serve humanity. I didn't know how exactly I was going to do that but I figured out that by volunteering a few hours of my time into a project, I would get a clear picture of how I wanted things to be. I do have to say that so far the volunteer experience has been one of a kind. I have met incredible people and gotten a chance to network through different platforms and events. My self confidence has also grown and I have developed my social skills since I regularly meet with a group of people with shared interests.

Volunteers take part in the International Volunteer Day Celebrations in Mathare.

   2.  Volunteering exposes you to a whole new world.
It's true that when you are a volunteer, you experience different things and learn to appreciate the basic things that we often take for granted. I have never really experienced what it feels like for 20 people to share one toilet and a bathroom. We take a lot for granted and with that comes ignorance. We become so comfortable in our own world that we fail to see what is really happening in society. I am grateful each passing day for basic privileges such as a roof over my head, running water, electricity and so on. Such basic amenities which would bring our lives to a standstill if they were not there are just a mirage to some of our fellow country men.

Children playing in their school playground in Ngomongo.

  3. Volunteering helps you sharpen your skills
When you volunteer, you sharpen your skills which in turn go a long way in boosting your career and future prospects. For example, if you are already a skilled psychologist, you can volunteer at a women's shelter and provide psychological support. Such an experience can also help  you discover new interests that you never really knew you had. As a volunteer, you also go through various trainings and participate in workshops. This will go a long way in ensuring that you are happy while doing your job. The good thing about volunteering is that you only give the number of hours or resources that you are able to. There is no pressure to do an 8-5.

Participants from various organizations having a fun moment during a Strategic Planning meeting for Volunteer Involving Organizations (VIO) Network held at the Boma Hotel.

 4. The last and most important reason is that Volunteering is fun and helps put a smile on someone's face.
Volunteering is so much fun. You get to meet new people, play fun games, network in a very relaxed environment and learn a  lot in the process. Don't forget about how much happiness you bring to someones life by helping out. Take an example of volunteering for an organization that runs a mentorship programme. The feeling you get when the participants tell you how much you have helped them is surreal. And one thing for sure is that those individuals never forget you.

Children playing games during a Gender Based Violence Awareness training at St. Prisca's School in Korogocho.

Feel free to add others.

Important note
The International Youth Day will take place on the 12th of August 2014 with the theme "Youth and Mental Health" under the slogan "Mental Health Matters". Youth with mental health conditions face a lot of stigma and this also leads to exclusion and being locked out of opportunities. We will keep our readers updated on how we aim to commemorate the day.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you very much Desmond, please keep visiting our blog so that you can know more about what Progressive Volunteers Does.

  2. Very well articulated points! And may I add, volunteering is one the most serious forms of spiritual activity which can make you feel incredibly light, by the time it gets over.

    Carry on the good work...cheers!

    1. Thank you very much Ashutosh for visiting our blog.We do agree with you that volunteerism makes you feel very light.
      We have a wonderful quote that tries to summarize what volunteerism.
      How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. Anne Frank.