International Volunteer Day can be considered a holiday by everyone who helps the society free of charge, sparing no effort and time. This holiday is aimed at drawing public attention to such an important matter as volunteering - free assistance for the benefit of society.
To begin with, International Volunteer Day is celebrated on December 5. . The history of its appearance goes back to 1985, when the UN Assembly put forward a proposal to hold a socially significant holiday for the whole world - Volunteer Day. These people make a huge contribution to all spheres of public life, which should not go unnoticed. The holiday has an international status and is successfully celebrated in many countries. Russia joined the celebration of Volunteers Day in 2017. Today there are many organizations, joining which, you can engage in this or that kind of activity both full-time and in your free time from work, one-time or on a permanent basis. The main thing is to have a desire to help people without expecting anything in return.
This year Service Civil International (my host organization) with the international community celebrated the International Day of Volunteering, but also the100 years of International Voluntary Service of the organization. We had a theatre play on the history of the first workcamp, cake, songs, speeches, awards, and lots of fun together...more than 100 people, physically distant but socially close!
As the majority of us are volunteers already, I summed up the points of how to become a volunteer, that you can share with your friends, if someone is interested:
- First, decide in which field of activity you want to help. Be it different directions or one thing. Helping the elderly, or working at an animal shelter. Or maybe you are planning to leave for another city during a large-scale event. In any case, it is better to decide on this in advance. My choice was Germany and field of communication and project development, so, I am having my ESK exactly in area of international communication.
- Select a volunteer movement and apply. Each area has its own volunteer organization. The largest ones have the opportunity to apply online. Be prepared to be rejected. The candidate must have good health, endurance and be motivated. I selected only one project and put all my efforts for it.
- Decide how much time you can devote to volunteering. You should be realistic about your strength. Especially if volunteering is combined with the main job. Determine how many hours a day or week you can spend on this. I was planning to spend the whole year, and that is my 9th month already.
- Complete the required training. You may be given a short briefing before starting work, but in some areas you will have to undergo full training. I had Placement Officer Training in Switzerland, for example, before starting my ESK in Germany.
If your volunteering service is near the end and you are searching for something new, I would suggest you take into consideration some programs except ESK, as for example volunteer opportunities with the UN worldwide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoGipzCuZ34&feature=emb_title and online (please, find the general information here) https://www.unv.org/become-volunteer.
More programs you can find here:
Being a volunteer is work, sometimes extremely difficult and exhausting, but always grateful and reciprocated: by giving, we get much more.