Volunteering is an unpaid activity where someone gives their time to help a not-for-profit organisation or an individual who they are not related to or for community development.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said that the essence of life is “to serve others and do good,” and it seems an increasing number of us are starting to wake up and see why volunteering is important. People are starting to understand how serving and helping each other and different communities benefits not just others but ourselves, too.
Unpaid volunteers helps hold a community together by dedicating their time and some volunteering works can lead to job opportunities with the experiences you gain through volunteering.
As a volunteer he or she must give their time and skills, without pay, for the benefit of others, the local community and very importantly yourself so as to build your career and area of interest.
Why you need to volunteer?
Volunteering can give you the skills and confidence you need to get into work, climb the career ladder or expand your circle of friends.
Who can be a volunteer?
Anyone that is willingness to get involved and help can be a volunteer.
Can expenses be paid while volunteering?
It is good practice for organisations to pay volunteers’ expenses to cover things like travel expenses and meal allowances. However not all organisations do, so it is worth checking before you start to volunteer
Importance of Volunteering
“Volunteering is important as it offers essential help to worthwhile causes, people in need, and the wider community.”
NGOs are non-governmental organizations set up purposely as a beneficial program for the less privileged and socially affected citizens of a country.
It is a non-profit making organization which is organized on a local, national and international level. It is driven by people with a common interest to perform a variety of services and humanitarian functions.
NGOs focus on numerous aspects that are indeed important to the citizens of a country. Such aspects include: human rights, legal support, promoting education, promoting vocational skills, agricultural development, encouraging social responsibility, poverty alleviation, supporting human welfare, development of communities, health or environment, etc.
NGOs are mostly set up to improve the lives of people by providing much-needed services free of charge. There are lots of NGOs in Nigeria with various activities that cannot be overlooked.
Many Non governmental organizations (NGOs) rely on the generosity of volunteers as often they are only part-funded through government or local councils, and cannot afford to pay salaries for all their staff.
Some NGOs in Nigeria and Their Activities, Contacts
- Association for Reproductive and Family Health: This is one of the leading indigenous non-governmental organization in Nigeria committed to improving the quality of life of undeserved and vulnerable communities by promoting access to quality health care and harnessing community capacity for sustainable development.
ARFH HOUSE, Plot 815A, Army Officers’ Mess Road, Near Ikolaba Grammar School, Agodi G.R.A., Ikolaba, Ibadan. P.O. Box 30259 Secretariat, Ibadan , Oyo State, Nigeria.
+234 802 354 2881
- Angels Discovery Circle Initiative
This is a non-profit organization in Nigeria that offers humanitarian services, scholarship programs, skill acquisitions, safety awareness and rehabilitating.
Block 5, Plot 8-10, Jajo Estate, Off Ijede Road, Po Box 2953, Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria.
- LEAP Africa
To train, equip and empower a cadre of youths for leadership, effectiveness, accountability etc.
- Foundation for Skills Development
This NGO was established to empower unemployed persons with vocational & technical skills to become self-employed.
Address 3b Allen Lane, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos.
Phone: +234 1 8198108
- Tender Arts Nigeria
This non-profit making organization positively impacts children and youths with focus on art therapy , art education, talent development, community development and civic engagement.
3, Egbapeju Street,
Phone: (234) 8032256759
Benefits of Volunteering
The benefits of volunteering are countless. But there are social, emotional, physical, and professional perks.
- Volunteering connects you with others
one of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together through volunteering.
- Volunteering builds self-confidence and self-esteem
It helps volunteers to boost their self-confidence and also taking he or she out of their natural comfort zone and environment.
- Volunteering is important for your career
Volunteering gives volunteers the opportunity to practice important common skills used in the workplace, such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, planning and organization.
- Allow you to take or overcome challenge. Through volunteering you can challenge yourself to try something different, achieve personal goals, practice using your skills and discover hidden talents. You may be faced with various challenges while you volunteer that require critical thinking. You may need to help others overcome their challenges as well.
- Meet people or Helps you meet new friends
Volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and make new friends. It is likely that volunteering may help you to meet people with a variety of backgrounds and interests.
- Volunteering Builds Community
Volunteering helps to strengthen your community and your social network and make connections with the people you are helping, and you cultivate friendships with other volunteers.
- Increases Socializing
Socially, the benefits of volunteering show up quickly and have long-term effects. Social interaction improves mental and physical health, according to Psychology Today. The benefits of consistent socializing include better brain function and lower risk for depression and anxiety. You also improve your immune system.
- Increases your social skills
Volunteering, you to have the chance to talk to new people and sharpen your social skills through interactions with your volunteer team mates.
- Teaches you valuable skills
While volunteering the training and hands-on experience you gain helps you to learn new skills and build upon the skills you already have. For example, if you are a volunteer that advocates and raises awareness for a cause that interests you, you’ll gain valuable communication, public speaking and marketing skills. You may put these skills on your resume to enhance your skill set.
- Brings fun and fulfillment into your life
If you choose a volunteer opportunity you are passionate about, you get to explore your interests and have fun while doing so. For example as a baker who is passionate about his or work can volunteer to teach orphanage children skills and you enjoy the fun of motivation from the children.
Conclusions: the importance of volunteering if you are considering volunteering, ask yourself a few questions before taking the steps
Do I have the passion to volunteer?
Do I need a regular volunteering opportunities or would you prefer a one-off project?
Do I have a skill to offer?
What do I hope to gain from volunteering?
Is donating my time, energy, and possibly resources rewarding for me and for those I am helping?
Lily Douere Bandotubo has volunteer with various NGOs and have also carry out community development services to impact. If you want her to volunteer using her Business and Entrepreneurship Skills then contact her or make your comment on the comments section.