Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Volunteer work

Let us begin by saying what volunteering is?
As the Wikipedia encyclopaedia states ‘Volunteering is the practice of people working on behalf of others or a particular cause without payment for their time and services’. Some people choose to volunteer purely because of their need to help the less fortunate and others may volunteer in order to develop their own skills, get job experience or just to do something different and have fun.
Who can become a volunteer?

People from all backgrounds can do volunteer work because there are many areas in which volunteers are needed.
But even though volunteer work is incredibly varied not everyone is suitable for the same kind of job. Depending on the tasks and responsibilities involved in the job a potential volunteer may have to undergo specific training or take a preparatory course in the case when special qualifications are needed - This is the so called ‘skills-based volunteering’.

What are the most popular Volunteering jobs?

Environmental Volunteering

In this case volunteers concentrate on matters concerning the natural environment. Volunteers usually conduct a range of activities, some of which are:
-environmental monitoring
-ecological restoration (e.g. re-vegetation)
-education of local people about caring for their environment
This can be a great opportunity for nature lovers to commune with the natural world.

Volunteering in Schools

Volunteering in schools is common all around the world, but is probably most widely extended in countries with a poor economy. In most cases you do not to meet high requirements in order to become a volunteer in a school. Parents, grandparent or community members are usually only asked to fill out a form. The responsibilities of a volunteer in this case can be very wide-ranging. A volunteer might be asked to do anything, beginning with helping to maintain tidiness on the grounds of school, fundraising to even teaching.

eVolunteering has various other names, for example: online volunteering, micro volunteering, cyber service, telementoring or teletutoring, but they all mean the same – it is a term describing a volunteer who completes his/her tasks on the Internet using a computer offsite from the organization being assisted.
Corporate Volunteering / Employee volunteering
This refers to the companies which allow their employees to volunteer during work hours. This is regarded as one of the social responsibility activities of the company. Companies are willing to permit their workers to volunteer because it is a way of raising the loyalty among customers and enhancing the company’s image and reputation.

Who benefits?

Volunteering is beneficial not only to the people or organization the volunteers work for but also for the volunteers themselves. Often volunteering has a great impact on their lives and allows them to broaden their horizons. It is not only a way to make a difference but it can enable young people to get valuable experience and knowledge and in some cases even live through exciting adventures.

How to start?

This is really quite simple. Almost in every larger city around the world there are volunteer organizations of some sort. There are numerous websites on the internet that allow people to find the volunteering organization of their interest. These organizations often have their own internet sites which offer information about application, needed qualifications and the characteristics of the job.


There are also negative opinions about volunteering. Some critics, such as Ivan Illich (the author of the speech ‘To Hell with Good Intensions’) claim that volunteer work is a way of extending power and authority over indigenous cultures around the world .
More recently the concept of medical-tourism also has been criticized by many people (this refers to volunteers travelling overseas to deliver care).

What do you think about volunteering? Have you ever been a volunteer? What area would you like to volunteer in?


  1. I find it amazing that there are some people who want do something good just for satisfaction. To be honest, I don't know much about eVolunteering, it seems to be simplier than normal type of being a volunteer. I know that each person who's doing something disinterestedly deserves a respect but in my opinion being a volunteer in a hospital or school is more important that working for free for some company. I'm marvelled at how much can some people do for the others. We also can be useful, we just can't be lazy and start being active. It really can't be THAT hard, can it?

  2. I look up on volunteers. They are doing so much good for another people, animals, environment... and they benefit themselves, too! It must give them much satisfaction, but it's also hard work. I'm getting irritated, when some people criticise their activity. Of course,there are some causes of dishonest people (like everywhere!), but generally volunteering is really worth regarding.
    I've never been a volunteer. I think about it, but I still have problem with free time (I know, it's so stupid - we can, if only we want). But I'm almost sure, that I would land up as a 'volunteer'... doing work experience in some company ;)

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  4. Volunteering is a great practice, however I'm not sure if it's so simple as we think.
    I've tried volunteering in common room for children from pathological families, but I gave it up very quickly. These children were acrimonious, aggressive and in fact didn't want our help!
    My example shows that willingness are not enough to be volunteer. You need also some character traits like patience and persistance.
    Thanks this situation I already know how difficult work of volunteers is and my respect for these people is even bigger.

  5. I agree that volunteering isn't so simple as many people think. I think that criticizm of volunteering has it source in that volunteers who haven't got enough preparation. If they don't have enough practice and skills they often do things in wrong way, they can disturb and not help. Personally, I've never been a volunteer and I don't know if I will be. Helping other people or nature may be rewarding but it isn't easy. Simplicity on start can be illusory.

  6. I'm glad that you've done this presentation because I believe it's an important subject and it's worth talking about. It's true that beeing volunteer isn't easy, however I think it's a precious experience. Firstly, your help to others is priceless. Next, it is also very helpful for yourself! Not only because of eventually journeys, new acquaintances etc, but also you learn to coexist in group, to open yourself to others... By that, you can discover your own personality and value. I know it by experience: I've worked as a volunteer in a hotel in France, at reception. It was really great, I've had a contact with language and also it was hard- but I've learnt a lot about myself and about relationships :) Furthermore occasionally I visit old people's home with some friends, we talk with residents, sing for them (for example at Christmas etc). They need for it, they want to spend some time with well-disposed person. Sometimes the contact is difficult, but really it is a very edifying experience.

  7. If walks and voluntary services I regard it it is very much positive action. I am admiring all persons which are volunteers. I know that such a work is often heavier than paid though non-paying. Alone at present I am working as the "volunteer" publishing the news-sheet free of charge. Everyone in it working are doing it free of charge as volunteers. I know that there are much work but also much satisfaction.

  8. In my opinion volunteering is a noble-minded activity.
    I have never been a volunteer, but I'd like to, especially as suffering (ex. from leukaemia) children's assistant. One thing, which keeps me from doing it is that I'm probably not resistant enough and treat such things with affection. I guess it's not desired.

  9. For me volunteering is a great attitude, which restores me faith in man. They devote their lives for another people. Yes, I’ve been a volunteer. I cared of children from dysfunctional families and it was a amazing experience. In the future I would be a volunteering in hospital or hospice.
    I don't agree that the volunteer should be strong. Ok, maybe it helps is some situations. But the most importaant for ilness people is possibility to talk with someone.

  10. I'm glad that there are so many people ready to volunteer around the world (apart from them who volunteer to war). God bless them. They are really needed in some areas. Personally, I try to avoid volunteering, mainly because of my laziness...

  11. It's great that there are so many people who just give themselves and help other - needy people. I've never been a volunteer. I don't know why... Maybe there never was an ocassion to become one? Maybe volunteer don't have to be strong but should be patient and emphatic.

  12. I have been volunteer for two years. I 've worked in Polish school with chldren, I've organised their time, played with them and, sometimes, helped in their problems. I regret I must stop this job (because I have lots of lectures on my studies). This day, when I've met with children has been the best time in week. They have given me energy to my work and they have learnt me how to thing simply and creative.
    I hope I could be a volunteer once again :)

  13. I've only volunteered in helping kids in study in the library where I used to sit all the time. The feeling is great and I think we don't do it purely for higher reasons but also for ouerselves- it gives the sense of being needed nad enriches the self-evaluation. Gaining experience and creating the field of craetive thinking are other benefits. The only things that prevent most people from doing it is lack of time and energy or devotion. My advice is give it a shot if you have never done it before.

  14. I think that volunteer is a great thing. It's help for people who needs it very much. If you are volunteer it means you want to fight for something that you belive in it. It shows us which person you really are and what thing you think are important.

  15. In my opinion volunteer is great! It can help people, animals etc. And it is not only hard job but it could be a great fun. Unfortunately for be a volunteer we have to have a lot of free time and when you study it can be very hard. But there are so many organization you can help. The best thing in being volunteer is that we work with people and they can be so wonderful when we help them. I was thinking about be a volunteer but i can't because of study.

  16. I think it is a very good idea. It can help a lot off people in need and can make their life easier. I try to help my grandpa to clean her house, do shopping and I just talk with her. Then she is really happy and that makes me happy too :)

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  18. I agree that volunteer work it’s a great idea. It develops altruism and sensibility for others people suffering. We could work as a volunteer in many fields, depends on our personal skills, our will, or the free time we have. Some people says “Yes, I want to help but I don’t know how” and do nothing. If we put a little effort in the beginning to find the best way of volunteering for us, it will pay off.