The Real Meaning of Volunteering

Volunteering is usually considered as a humane activity and is aimed at promoting goodness or boost the quality of life of an individual. In turn, this action can generate a feeling of respect and self-worth although it won’t generate a financial gain for the individual involved. In addition, volunteering is renowned for socialization, skill development, and fun. It may have positive advantages for a volunteer and for the served community or individual. Volunteering is directed at making contacts for potential employment as well. A lot of volunteers are particularly trained in their working areas, such as emergency rescue, education or medicine. Other volunteers serve on an as-required basis, like in response to natural calamities or disasters.

Types of Volunteers

  • Volunteering as used by Service Learning Programs – a lot of schools on every educational level provides service-learning, which enables students to serve a faction through volunteering while receiving educational credit. Schools promote more extensive adoption of service-learning when it comes to higher education since they see it as an effective way of training students to be more responsible and caring citizens and of helping universities and colleges to succeed on their vow to serve society. Service learning connects volunteer community service and academic study in mutually reinforcing avenues. In addition, service learning volunteering is considered as having the outcome of engaging both the heart and mind; hence, giving a more potent learning experience.
  • Skills-based volunteering – it is leveraging the particular talent and skills of an individual in order to bolster the infrastructure of nonprofits, which helps them develop and maintain their capacity to effectively attain their missions. Skills-based volunteering is contrary to traditional volunteering, in which certain training isn’t needed. The normal traditional volunteering time is valued from $18 to $20 by the Independent Sector. This type of volunteering includes teaching English, dental elective, medical internship, and a lot more.
  • Volunteering in developing countries –a more and more well-known volunteering type amongst younger individuals – specifically gap year students – is to journey to developing countries in order to work on developments. Activities include working in orphanages, teaching English, conversation, and more. International volunteering is considered to provide participants valuable knowledge, skills and experience. On the other hand, “voluntourism” has been assessed by several people as being paternalistic and supporting historic power disparities. Some people may argue that in a lot of cases, voluntourism does more damage to communities compared to having good effects.
  • Virtual volunteering – it is also known as online volunteering or e-volunteering. This is a term that implies a volunteer who finishes tasks, partly or generally, offsite from the served organization. These volunteers make use of the World Wide Web and a personal computer or other Internet-connected equipment – like smartphone or PDA. This type of volunteering is also called as cyber service, teletutoring, telementoring, and other terms. In addition, it is the same with telecommuting, save for rather than paid online employees, they are not paid.
  • Micro-volunteering – this is an unpaid job that is operated thru the internet and is finished in small amount of time. Micro-volunteering is different from virtual volunteering since it usually doesn’t need a training period or application process.
  • Environmental volunteering – it pertains to volunteers who offer environmental conservation or management. Volunteers carry out several activities such as ecological restoration, environmental volunteering, defending endangered animals and educating other people with regard to the natural environment.
  • Volunteering in an emergency – it often portrays a significant part in the recovery effort after natural calamities like earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, floods and tsunamis. For instance, the tsunami and earthquake that occurred in the Indian Ocean in 2004 attracted a lot of volunteers all over the world, deployed by government agencies, non-government organizations, and the United Nations.

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  • Volunteering in schools – resource poor schools worldwide depend upon the support of the government or help from private donations or volunteers or effectively run. In different countries, every time the economy is falling, the necessity for volunteers and resources greatly increases. There are a lot of available opportunities in schools for volunteers. However, there aren’t a lot of requirements to volunteer within a school. Regardless if an individual is a high school graduate or a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) student, majority of schools need just selfless or voluntary effort.
  • Corporate volunteering – most companies at Fortune 500 enable their employees to volunteer throughout the working hours. These formalized EVPs (Employee Volunteering Programs) – also known as ESV (Employer Supported Volunteering – are considered as part of the sustainability efforts of the company and their social responsibility actions. Almost 40 percent of companies at Fortune 500 offer monetary donations – also called as volunteer grants – to nonprofit organizations as means of recognizing employees who offer significant time to volunteering within a certain community.
  • Community voluntary work – it pertains to volunteers who work in order to improve their nearby community. Civic, religious groups and neighborhood may support community volunteering in terms of shared goals. This type of volunteering can be described as volunteerism that needs a specific number of individuals, but they are organized in order to produce desired results.
  • International work-camps – this is an international voluntary plan wherein participants from several countries can meet, work, live, learn and discuss with other people regarding problems on cultural heritage, environmental conservation, human development, social justice, and more. This can be divided into STV projects (short-term voluntary projects) and LMTV projects (long- pr middle-term voluntary projects). The short-term voluntary projects are international work camps for not more than 2 months, while long- or middle-term voluntary projects last more than 2 months.

Political View of Volunteers

Modern communities share the same value of individuals helping one another; not just do acts of volunteers help others, but benefit the volunteering person on a personal degree as well. Even though having the same objectives, tension can happen between state-provided services and volunteers.

In general, regardless of how an individual views a volunteer, its primary goal is to help and assist others without them having financial gain!