Being a volunteer

Volunteers around the world play a complementary role in supporting the most marginalized communities and extend the reach and relevance of services to them. Being a volunteer helps one play an active role in empowering people to move from being passive beneficiaries to being active participants in their own development.
Volunteering is often the first step on the road to becoming actively engaged in one’s community and empowered to realize one’s rights.

Volunteerism is one of the frameworks that help the poor person understand the development agenda through capacity building initiatives orchestrated by thousands of volunteers who work at the grassroots. In Mozambique, volunteers from around the world work alongside local partners to train and build the capacity
of teachers, girls and school council members on gender responsive ways of achieving better education opportunities for girls. Part of their work is to strengthen existing voluntary school councils, made up of parents, teachers and student representatives. The aim with these councils, which have worked successfully for
VSO in many other countries, is to ensure that school management and teachers deliver learning in a way that is sensitive to the needs of girls so that girls are able to stay in school longer.

Besides, volunteers work with communities and build their capacity on a wide range of issues including; the value for girls’ education, health, sexual reproductive health, adult literacy, and sustainable income generation.

Volunteering overseas is a worthwhile experience with many lessons to take away, not only because of one’s professional work but also because of their life beyond the work boundaries. Volunteers stay in touch with communities on a daily basis enabling learning about new cultures, languages, food, clothes, and so much
more; something that gives them leverage over the communities’ development and social affairs compared to other actors.

In these series of “being a volunteer” articles, Elisabeth a former VSO volunteer digs some layers deeper than what her ordinary placement was about to put across other matters vital to being a volunteer. In light of this, Elisabeth shares about her life experience as a volunteer under 11 different topics. Hopefully these simple experiences on different aspects like; facing cultural differences, living with others, finding community support, food and clothes, language barriers, among others will encourage current and prospective volunteers to embrace their call despite
the challenges they may face along the way.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *