Tag Archive for: volunteerism

International Youth Day: Youth for The World

Written by Amanda Ramaningrum and Juhandi Dwi Putra Lyana, Content Writer Intern at Project Child Indonesia

Have you ever heard the words “Youth are the key agents of change”? Maybe we have heard it hundreds or thousands of times from our parents, teacher, lecturer, or whoever is older than us. It is not wrong if youths are well-known as the agent of change, due to the fact that there are 1.2 billion of youth in the world today. Youths have those energy and creativity to change and improve the world. 

Therefore, every year on August 12, the United Nations designates a day of awareness as International Youth Day. It is the day where all young people in the world celebrate their potential as active partners in the global society. Held with a different theme every year, this year’s International Youth Day theme is “Transforming Food Systems: Youth Innovation for Human and Planetary Health,” with the goal of highlighting that the success of such a global effort will not be achieved without the meaningful participation of young people.

Mentality of A Good Youth 

Why is young people’s participation so important? Referring to the United Nation’s explanation, with young people playing a key role in society, they can bring a positive impact that leads to social reform and improvement in society by providing the energy, creative ideas and determination to drive innovation and reform.

There are two important attitudes that good youth should have. First, having a growth mindset. Growth mindset is the belief that you can learn. With this mindset, you can be braver to take on new challanges and see failure and mistakes as part of learning. So, explore! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Second, having empathy. As youth, we should see the bigger picture in certain situations. Empathy helps us to cooperate with others. Being concerned with others helps us understand how others feel, and greater empathy could lead us to develop more helping behaviour.

Things You Can Do to be A Better Youth

As we said before, as a key agent of change, young people have the ability to reform society and make an impact. With a good attitude, there are many ways to contribute. It doesn’t mean you must do a ‘big thing’. Small acts can lead to a better habit, which leads to a bigger impact as well.  

“We learn together to get better, so when we get the ‘capacity’, we can do more positive impact” — Kak Abie, The Director of Partnership in Project Child Indonesia

Then, what could we do as a youth?

  1. Self-leadership and supporting others

When youth has good self-leadership, it means they have the ability to achieve personal and professional goals. While implementing this, we also help and support the other youth to improve their ability. And then, together we can learn and develop to be a better youth. 

  1. Be a good user of internet and social media

Being a good user of the internet, especially social media, is one of the small acts that you can do as a good youth. Same as the mouth, the fingers can hurt others, too. Every word carries weight, so we need to take responsibility for what we’ve written. Spread positive content and information to your circle, give appreciative words to your mutuals, or simply be mindful of everything that you will write could lead to a bigger impact as well.

  1. Help your surroundings 

There is a proverb, “An elephant in front of your eyes, you can’t see; but an ant on another island, you can see.” We could start it from our surroundings. As we could see together, we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We could help each other by voluntarily delivering food to older adults, checking their health condition, donating some food supplies to local organizations, volunteering to teach children in your neighborhood, or just simply picking up your phone when your friends or acquaintances call you. Small things mean big for those who need.

There are many ways to get the capacity to make a more positive impact for the world. One of the easiest ways to contribute is to donate. In this pandemic, Project Child Indonesia– a community based NGO that believes in the notion of “everyone can do good”!– launches Online Learning Assistance (OLA) program, in response to riverside children affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and have already helped more than 80 children this year. Small acts of kindness lead to bigger impacts. With your donation through KitaBisa.com, you are indirectly helping these children to get a better education. 

The Covid-19 pandemic could not stop us, the youth, from making the world a better place. So, let’s celebrate this International Youth day by being the agent of change starting from our family, neighborhood, community, and then society. We are youth for the world. 

References:

United Nation. International Youth Day. Retrieved from

https://www.un.org/en/observances/youth-day

United Nation. Youth and Volunteer. Retrieved from

https://www.un.org/esa/socdev/documents/youth/fact-sheets/youth-volunteerism.pdf

Martine Bloom, Irish, et al. 2021. Youth vs Pandemic: The Role of Future Generation in The Pandemic Treaty. Retrieved from 

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(21)00307-7/fulltext

Jewish Family Service. How You Can Actively Volunteer During the Covid-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from

https://www.jewishfamilyservice.org/blog/how-to-actively-volunteer-during-pandemic

Student U. 2020. Youth Work 101. Retrieved from

https://studentudurham.org/growth-mindset/

Psychology Today. Empathy. Retrieved from

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/basics/empathy

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