Volunteering. Maybe a term which is something quite normal for some people, as they do it on a regular basis or maybe something scary and stupid for others, as they do not see anything useful about it.
Over the last few years, volunteering has become more or less a necessity of our society. And it is not because of the fact that you raise money out of it, since you do not actually get paid for your work. Then why spend your time doing something which does not pay off in money, some people would ask. Experience, growth, information and skills. Simple as that.
Andreea recently finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health and she decided at one point to go to The Netherlands. If one might expect her decision to be related to a Master Programme, then this might come as quite a surprise. She actually got enrolled in the European Volunteering Service and was expecting to leave for one year. Through the European Volunteering Service, she would be settled in De Glind, where she would be working with children who have had adverse childhood experiences. De Glind is basically a small village full of young people, where children are placed into normal families, in order to learn not only about the importance of living in such a social environment, but also important life skills.
Was it the necessity to escape, I asked, or was it the necessity to grow, from all kind of points of view?
Concerning the reasons for her leaving, it was mainly because she did not know what Master’s Degree to choose and she did not want to make a choice which would not make her happy. It was not a whim, it was simply the decision to travel, meet people from other countries, get to know the culture and traditions of other countries and simply become more open minded and learn how to appreciate the values of our country more and not only. Bluntly, this one year break is seen as benefic in order to actually understand what her needs are and what she wants to do in the future.
In The Netherlands, Andreea works at two families, where she takes care of their children. Basically, she does all kind of activities with the children, helping them improve their English skills, on the one hand, and with whatever problem they face in the society, on the other hand. As she said, volunteering for her means making baby steps and concentrating on performing simple tasks, which have the effect of changing a person’s quality of life. As she is a volunteer in the social work domain, this gives her the chance to make a difference in the lives of people through assistance and help.
How does volunteering change someone? As Andreea said, volunteering makes you be more selfless and more considerate, thus managing to acknowledge the importance of helping another person. The fact that you are involved in a certain project and the fact that you can help other people improve their lives makes a difference. Not only the quality of their lives is improved, but also, the information gathered can be used to help the people with the same problems in Romania.
And now, the question is, would you rather be or not be a volunteer?