While undertaking my studies in the UK, my mantra remained “Volunteering and community service”. To satisfy this thirst, I volunteered in two (2) reputable organizations. One had the inclination of working around Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) issues.
As a community development worker with experience in HIV-related activities in Nigeria, I craved that experience in a developed context.
A time came when I needed to write a thesis and choosing a topic ought to be a big deal. Because I was a volunteer, getting HIV positive individuals to partake in the research was a walk over (one of the benefits).
My thesis was on the “Traditional/cultural beliefs about the cause of HIV and HIV-related stigma among black Africans in Leeds, UK”. The results were unfathomably amazing to me. (This is a story for another day). What would have been a rather herculean task became a cake bite just because I was a volunteer.
Well, let me take the spotlight away from myself because I have heard people say to me “Aaron, I tried looking for organizations to volunteer with, but I have not found any.”
Here’s the shocker guys: U DON’T NEED TO VOLUNTEER WITH AN ORGANIZATION!
Yes, you heard correctly, and this is why.
Someone I know (very close to me) always craved to have projects done around menstrual and sexual health. While serving her country under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme, she undertook a project that promoted Menstrual Hygiene Management in public schools. The results were beyond impressive.
Guess what guys? Months after her NYSC, the country Director of a reputable international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) saw a post about her selfless service and boom! She got an offer to work with the company, JUST LIKE THAT!
For her, that event has become an annual ritual as she has continued to impact lives through it.
This is where it gets even more enticing…This lady just got awarded a full scholarship to study in the UK because of her personal selfless service. Unarguably, her volunteering experience added volume to her application.
Although it is great volunteering with an organization, you can begin to make impact right in the community you live and/or work in. Look around you and challenge yourself to START.
It was Muhammad Ali who said that “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
I still got a room here on earth and I am paying my rent(volunteering). ARE YOU?
The fruits of volunteering are immeasurable and invaluable. Until u delve in, you cannot tap from it.