International Volunteer Day 2018, in Razlog, Bulgaria
The international volunteer day has been celebrating at the 5th of December, every year since 1985. Each year it has an own motto which was this year: “Volunteers build Resilient Communities”. We, the team of IIC Razlog, decided to participate and promote volunteering for youngsters in Razlog one week ago.
One week ago in a meeting the idea grew to participate in the international volunteer day. As we are working in a non-governmental-organization (NGO) we want to spread the idea of volunteering. Because of the motto we had the idea to encourage the local youngsters to participate into volunteering.
We collected ideas and decided that we wanted to promote not only local volunteering. We wanted to give the youngsters the opportunity to inform themselves about international volunteering as well.
After a short ice-breaking game the students went to different information points. There was one about volunteering in Bulgaria and the IIC Razlog. The next one was an art workshop where everyone was welcome to put her or his hand on a white sheet. The colored sheet showed in the end that every small action matters to make the world a brighter place.
The students also got the change to inform them about how they can get involved in international volunteering. The European Solidarity Corps was promoted and the volunteers answered questions about their European Voluntary Service (EVS) and what they experienced in Bulgaria. Some of the girls were really interested in an EVS and stayed longer to know more about a possible volunteering in the future.
The French-Team prepared a workshop about intercultural exchange. As in Bulgaria there are not a lot of people who are speaking proper English they made the youngsters aware about the importance of English.
You need English as an international volunteer especially for communication. This language is the bridge between foreigners, in this case the team of volunteers and the local people and volunteers. Without English you could have not explained the youngsters about the importance of volunteering. For example it helps migrants to get to know a new culture and the new language. Without the work of thousands of volunteers a lot of people would be lost in their new home and would not feel welcome.
The official definition of a volunteer is: “A person who does something especially helping other people, willingly and without being forced or paid to do it.” Consequently you could say that volunteering is a superpower, because a superhero helps other people without being forced or paid too.
On the topic of this question two volunteers had prepared a workshop to encourage people to participate as a volunteer in a local group. With the video: “Kindness Boomerang” they showed the youngsters, if you help another person you get help or a smile back, or maybe a flower. In the workshop they made the girls aware that kindness can change the world and makes it to a better place.
Furthermore they explained everyone can do a small thing with a huge impact. For example, if I go to the local center for disabled person and just be there and holding their hand they are happy and smiling the whole hour.
Additionally they mentioned that volunteering improves your life too. For example you will learn to deal with responsibilities, for example to be punctual. Moreover you will learn how to deal with criticism and respect person who you would normally never talk to.
Altogether, the participants of the workshop and the leaders collected goals they want to reach with volunteering. The outcome was including people, gender equality, save the environment, to make the society careful and to use smiling to improve the world.
Finally the International Volunteer Day is a day which can make the world a better place. It is the possibility for organizations our volunteering groups to present them and to encourage people to participate into volunteering. Today the International Volunteer Day is celebrated in over 80 countries. The organizations are using the day to make the government and especially the population aware about the importance of volunteering. At that day the team of IIC Razlog showed the local youngsters: “Volunteering is a superpower and everyone can be a superhero.