Dear Volunteers and Friends,
It is with all humility that I write to you on the International Volunteers Day (IVD) 2019. This year’s theme is “Volunteer for an Inclusive future”. This is a strategic theme which literally explains your significance in building a sustainable future which ensures the inclusion of all, thereby advancing equality.
It is shocking how volunteers suffer minimal attention and celebration in our context. This is could be very discouraging considering the hard work you do in changing the lives of people around you. I wonder how you do this so effortlessly despite all you go through while sacrificing your time and resources. I’d like to appreciate and encourage you in the work you do despite not getting paid or recognised.
I will like to plead with you that while touching lives, also be deliberate in developing yourself and touching your own life.
Despite my passion in giving back to my community in all that I do, my mantra has always been “Personal and Community Development”. It is said that you cannot give what you do not have so you must consciously seek to develop yourself while you are on the heavenly mission of touching lives (Volunteerism).
This the good news my friend, do not be distracted from doing all you do because consciously or unconsciously you are developing yourself and at the right time, your star will shine.
I started volunteering at age 13 and since then I have deliberately tried to impact lives in the best way I can. I am happy to tell you that in all my years of volunteering till date my capacity has been built on the following issues/subjects: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), Gender Based violence (GBV), Governance, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) etc. The list is a long one so I will stop here but please when you finish reading my letter, pick a pen and itemise what you have learned and how much you have been developed since you commenced your volunteering journey. I am sure you will be thankful that you are a volunteer.
Celebrate your growth today with rejuvenated passion to keep touching lives. For it is only when you are touched, that you can touch others. This is a day to reflect and refuel. Refuel yourself to fuel others towards their growth.
Let us use today to appreciate all the individuals and organizations that gave us the platform to volunteer and touch lives. My first big break in the development sector came because I volunteered. That is why I still create time to always volunteer till date. It is absolutely rewarding.
I leave you with a quote I love:
“VOLUNTEERS ARE NOT PAID NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE WORTHLESS BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE PRICELESS”.
Raise your head up high today knowing that you are Priceless.