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Article by Nuzhat Nobia

What is Volunteerism?

Whenever we talk about the word “Volunteerism” the very first question that occurs to our minds is; what does volunteerism actually mean? There are so many definitions for this term. In my opinion this term can be defined in a very easy and appropriate sentence: “doing something which has a positive impact in the society without having any expectation for the reward”. We can also define volunteerism as the rule of donating time and energy for the welfare of people in the community as a serious responsibility rather than for any material or financial reward.

Volunteerism enhances the sense of solidarity, harmony, trust, hope expectation, anticipation and optimism. Volunteerism rises above the regional, linguistic, cultural and racial limitations. I have heard from someone that there is another alternate word for “Volunteerism” and that word is “Heroism”. Undoubtedly this is a perfect one word description for Volunteerism. When someone volunteers for a cause he or she is not serving the world individually but so many other silent energies, support and prayers are also with them. Volunteers contribute to a very large extent in raising the voices of the people in their different communities. Volunteerism brings peace and relaxation not only to the mind but also to the soul.

Volunteerism and the youth

Volunteerism leading to great involvement with the community mostly bears the face of “youth”. Youth is a symbol for a strong, prosperous, successful and progressive nation. Youth is the backbone of volunteerism. It is fueled by motivation, determination, energy, drive and optimistic approach. It is only the youth who can bring constructive and credible development in many affected areas of the world. The youth has been volunteering for decades. If we look at different surveys they indicate that 58%-60% of the people aged between 18 and 35 are involved in volunteerism.

The 21st century is the age of technologies and many modern advancements. With the help of these advancements we can serve and volunteer even by just sitting at home and using the internet, telephone, mobiles, and social media. If we engage the youth effectively, we can make the world’s volunteering sector much stronger as they can play a vital role in building strong communities all over the globe.

Volunteerism is therefore a tool for positive youth development. The youth as well as volunteerism promotes a sense of empowerment and connection to the community in a much better way. Volunteering provides an opportunity for the youth to learn new skills and gain valuable work experience. The youth can play a significant role in the search of new standards that will bring sustainability to the entire world. It is the youth’s task to make history in the future.

The youth can also play an important role in fund-raising for a global cause and in a much more effective way.  They can raise awareness in the society which may lead to increased human rights activism. Young people should participate in volunteering work early on in life because early volunteering experiences empower and create a lasting influence.  Many theorists suggest that experiences during child-hood and early adolescence have a powerful shaping force on lifelong values and sense of purpose.

There is a lot of Green in volunteerism!

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