Developing Professional Volunteerism in Social Works

 

Defining the term “professional volunteerism” is tricky. The word “professional” could mean someone who gets paid for doing a job, whereas the word “volunteerism” means performing work without getting paid. Thus, the term “professional volunteerism” might sound like an oxymoron. However, the word “professional” also means having an exceptional skill and mastery at something. Referring to the latter definition, “professional volunteerism” could be understood as the act of implementing high level of skills, mastery and work ethics in doing unpaid work.

 

Professional volunteerism usually takes place at nonprofit organizations which mostly rely on volunteers to operate. It is done by preparing volunteers with necessary skills and knowledge to make sure volunteers are ready to contribute positively to the community they work with, instead of doing harm. By developing professional volunteerism, a nonprofit organization could maintain the quality of their programs, as well as developing a strong base of skilled volunteers who hold crucial roles in helping the organization achieve their goals. It enhances the quality of service they give to people or community they work with, and gain better trust from donors and sponsors. Professional volunteerism helps to ensure program sustainability in the long run.

 

Professional volunteerism is developed by well-managing the projects and activities where volunteers are involved. The organization is responsible for fulfilling the volunteers’ need for support during their volunteering time and making sure that volunteers are appreciated for their contribution. The ongoing problem commonly found in volunteer-based social work is disorganized volunteer management. Some organizations depend completely on volunteers’ good intention to show up now and then without any clear commitment. It is good to facilitate the volunteers’ time flexibility, but besides being ineffective for the program, volunteers will feel disengaged and lose interest over time. It motivates them more when volunteers gain a sense of meaning and accomplishment from the program and are recognized by the organization for their significance. It is necessary to make a distinct agreement about commitment, responsibilities, and benefits that occur to both parties during the volunteering process. Training and orientation sessions are essential to make sure volunteers are ready to face the challenges as they dive right into the field. When given the right support and treatment, volunteers will be willing to go the extra miles and help achieve a bigger impact.

 

Professional volunteerism assures you that the time and effort you are pouring is carefully managed to benefit both yourself and other people

 

Professional volunteerism also helps volunteers to grow professionally and benefits the volunteers in many ways. Firstly, it lets you practice your professional skills. When you choose to volunteer specifically in the field of your expertise, it gives you hands-on experience and develops your skills set. You can even acquire new skills and have more freedom to experiment in the relatively low-risk environment. This is especially beneficial for college students and fresh graduates who need opportunities to kick-start their career and increase their future employability. Secondly, you will get a chance to expand your networking. You will get to know people from various backgrounds who share the same views and beliefs as you. You can even meet influential people or community leaders, people who will widen your perspective about the world and those you can earn knowledge from. Thirdly, you will gain an incredibly rewarding experience. Volunteering can be very fulfilling as you do good for other people and help make a difference. It energizes you and makes you feel less absorbed in your daily life stresses. It also helps for professional workers who want a break from their stressful job, as well as improving their skills while at the same time giving back to the community. After all, professional volunteerism assures you that the time and effort you are pouring is carefully managed to benefit both yourself and other people.

 

Project Child Indonesia aims to develop professional volunteerism by applying professional management in volunteer involvement. By giving volunteer the proper training and orientation, we intend to reduce the risk of giving harm to the society we work with. We value our volunteers greatly, and we do our best in maximizing our resources to better support our volunteers. We really hope that volunteers will gain valuable experience when working with us, and flourish both personally and professionally. Developing professional volunteerism is also our take on maintaining a sustainable act of kindness. By professionally managing our programs and volunteers, we believe that we are able to achieve bigger and do greater good for the cause.

 


Written by Margareta Danastri

Project Child to Expand its Drinking Water Program to Eastern Part of Indonesia

The UN recognizes access to the clean water as one of the basic human rights. However, the access to safe and affordable drinking water is still a country-wide problem in Indonesia. There is still no free drinking water installation system available in primary schools in Indonesia. Thus, the cheapest way to get drinking water is by boiling tap water. This becomes an issue when the tap water itself is contaminated, so boiling won’t ensure its safety. The safer option is to buy mineral water sold in plastic bottles or gallons which is costly and will generate a significant amount of plastic waste.

 

Clean water access is one of the leading concerns that made us start the Drinking Water Program in 2014. Considering that children do not have access to the clean and free drinking water during their time at school, we came up with an idea of providing safe and affordable drinking water access for school children. We installed water filters in our partner schools and encourage children to bring their own tumbler, therefore minimizing trash from single-use plastic bottles. We also hold weekly classes to give lessons about healthy living and environment preservation.

 

The program currently runs in 12 schools in Yogyakarta and 8 schools in Pacitan. By 2017, we have successfully installed 28 water filters in Yogyakarta and Pacitan, and help give access to clean drinking water to more than 2000 school children. In 2018, we are planning to expand our program to partner with more schools in Indonesia. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there is a total of 234.711 primary and secondary schools across Indonesia, attended by a total of 52 million students. While 77% of the schools have access to clean drinking water, it is estimated that there are 50.000 schools still lack access to clean drinking water. Our long-term goal is to reach out to double the number of children we have currently impacted and raise awareness of the importance of safe and affordable drinking water access to local and national government. Our closest plan in the near future is to bring this program to Fakfak Regency in West Papua Province. Depending on the number of students present in 3 chosen schools, we aim to impact approximately more than 500 students aged 7-13 years, in the time span of one year.

 

We are going to use a similar approach that had been successfully implemented in our partner schools in Java. After researching the geographical and economical challenge in each school, we will build an active collaboration with primary schools and community administrators, especially in communities living near the shore and under the poverty line. The next step will be installing water filters in our partner schools and launch training sessions for local communities on water filtration, sanitation, and maintenance. We will also hold regular classes on water, sanitation, and hygiene in collaborating schools for one year.

 

To ensure the sustainability of this program, we will form the water committee in each school, consisting of teachers and parents. The water committee will be responsible for the usage and maintenance of water filters installed, making sure that the program will still last even without our direct assistance. We also plan to collaborate with local youth organizations, health government clinics and the official health department working in the field of drinking water to perform monitoring on the program. We are hoping that this program will grow bigger and become one of the local health government clinics or health department programs. Hopefully, this will be a positive start for this program to expand to more places in Indonesia, helping people in remote islands who still lack access to drinking water.

 

You could help make this plan come true by donating via 

https://kitabisa.com/airuntuksekolah

All your donation will be used for installing the drinking water filter in schools in Fakfak Regency, West Papua.

 

by Margareta Danastri, Media Intern at Project Child Indonesia

5 Tips to Stay Hydrated at School

By Felix Prayogo

 

Students, especially those in elementary schools, have a high probability of getting dehydration. The problem with these students is, that they don’t understand the early symptom of dehydration. There are several ways to teach them and make them understand about this issue, but sometimes students need another way to tell that they are hydrated enough, especially when in school. These are 5 ways to ensure that students stay hydrated.

Be a good role model.

Children tend to copy what’s around them, especially adults who are closest to them. Parents and older siblings are the ones who they try to copy. So why don’t you start to teach them how to keep hydrated. Tell them to drink a lot while in school. Don’t forget to bring tumbler for both you and the child, and give them an example of the importance of the drinking. You can also teach them how to identify early symptoms of dehydration so that they can tackle that easily. Being good around them makes them good children.

Include water-based foods at their lunchboxes.

Many fruits and vegetables are made up mostly of water, making it easy to get some extra hydration at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A few of favorites include cut-up watermelon, grapes, cucumber, and broccoli. For school, you can add fruits and vegetables to the menu. Children tend to love fresh fruits and of course, they will love some watermelon in their lunchboxes.

Let your child pick their bottle and lunchbox.

Children are much more likely to drink and eat what’s inside if they love the outside of their bottles and lunch boxes. Bottles and tumbler nowadays are varied in design and looks. Most likely children will choose bottles with their favorite cartoon characters on it. It’s an incentive for them to keep them hydrated. Probably it will cost you more, but it’s a small price to pay to keep them happy and hydrated at the same time.

Pack water – no matter how close the destination is.

Some parents may be indifferent to these tips as the school is near their house. But whatever the reason, ask them to bring their bottles (with water inside, of course). Keep them hydrated even if your home is close enough to the school and children will go home earlier than their friends.

Prefer water over other drinks.

When choosing drinks for kids, avoid those that have caffeine, such as iced tea or many sodas. As a diuretic, caffeine can contribute to the dehydration process by increasing fluid loss. In addition, as a stimulant, it can depress the symptoms of dehydration. Beverages such as soda or juice-flavored drinks might taste refreshing, but the high sugar content is unhealthy for many reasons and should be avoided for hydration except as a last resort.


We hope these tips help you and your children to keep hydrated at the school.