We, the youth hold the world in our hands. We are the future of this world. Would it be fair of us to be caught up in our personal desires and be selfish without giving a helping hand to the society and to the world?
Volunteerism is the act of lending a helping hand without expecting any self-benefit. People the world over engage in volunteerism for a great variety of reasons: to help to eliminate poverty and to improve basic health and education, to tackle environmental issues, to reduce the risk of disasters or to combat social exclusion and violent conflict. In all of these fields, volunteerism makes a specific contribution by generating well-being for people and their communities.
Volunteers are motivated by values like those of justice, equality and freedom as expressed in the United Nations Charter. A society which supports and encourages different forms of volunteering is likely to be a society which also promotes the well-being of its citizens.
More than 1 billion people volunteer globally, the majority of them serving in their own countries. Many are in the forefront of efforts to improve the way they and their fellow citizens are governed and engaged. Moreover, volunteers are playing a vital role in making governments worldwide more accountable and responsive to their citizens.
They are working with governments and civil society to hold those in power to account and to represent the voices of those who are often left out of development decisions such as women, youth and marginalized groups. The end result is more inclusive –and ultimately more effective– development.
Volunteerism is a basic expression of human relationships. It is about people’s need to participate in their societies and to feel that they matter to others. We strongly believe that the social relationships intrinsic to volunteer work are critical to individual and community well-being.
The ethos of volunteerism is infused with values such as solidarity, reciprocity, mutual trust, belonging and empowerment, all of which contribute significantly to quality of life.
Being a volunteer means you are doing your part in helping the world, healing the world, lending a voice to the voiceless and helping in creating a more-effective future development.
As young people, as youth we should actively volunteer ourselves and also encourage others to volunteer. This way we can make a better world, with better citizens who have the concerns of the society in their hearts, with future citizens who will work towards the benefit of the people. Volunteerism truly is the seed that will let a better world filled with humanity, peace and sustainable development bloom.
(Sources: UN Volunteers)