What is volunteering – and whats’s in it for you?

To a lot of people, these two questions could somehow appear to contradict each other. As we know, most people who volunteer do so from the heart, out of a desire to give back to the community.

But while you feel good about giving your time and your skills to your community, you can also directly benefit from the experience by collecting new skills along the way.  Some of these skills may help you secure a job later or help them with their studies.

Improve your skills set

No matter what you’re studying now or intend to study in the future, there will be an NGO looking for people with particular skills for their areas of focus. Whether it’s the environment or community health, you will find something that fits your skills, your interests or your field of study.

Apply yourself. Meet people. Learn from those more experienced than you. Although some of the training might appear simple at first, they will help you to add more value to your CV. And the more volunteering organisations you join, the more skills you will add to your repertoire.

Employers will take notice
Often, it’s not just your qualification that employers rate you on. It’s your character, your leadership qualities. Volunteering brings balance to your life. It shows you have empathy, a much sought-after personal quality.

Be inspired
If you pull yourself out of your comfort zone, you discover new things. Yes, we know your time is precious and there hardly seem enough hours in the day. But breaking out of your usual routine will give you new insights. You’ll see life through a different lens. And who knows, you might see something that gives you new ideas – for a business or a new career path.

Here are 5 volunteering examples

1. Green Pop
An organisation which plants trees in underprivileged areas as well as educating the youth on how important trees are to our environment.
http://www.greenpop.org/

How it can help you
Volunteering at Green Pop will give you all sorts of knowledge about trees and tree-planting              which may come in very useful if you are considering working in a nursery or studying for                  a career in horticulture or similar.  Being outdoors, breathing fresh air and getting physical            exercise will also be good for your health!

 

2. Lifeline
An organisation which offers 24 hour telephonic assistance and counselling to the public.  For example, here are a few issues that they counsel:  depression, divorce, HIV, grief, domestic violence, eating disorders and more.
http://www.lifeline.co.za/24hr-help-desk/how-to-become-a-volunteer/

How it can help you
A Volunteer at Lifeline will get the necessary training before given volunteer shift work.  This             training together with the skills you will learn as a Volunteer may assist you if you are                         considering a career as a Counsellor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist.

 

3. Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity International is a non-profit, Christian-based organisation which works with local communities to build homes for the under privileged.
http://www.habitat.org.za

        How can it help you
A Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity will collect many skills such as managing a group of                     people and construction-related skills.  If you are considering a career as a Manager or as               an Artisan like bricklaying, carpentry etc – volunteering at Habitat for Humanity may be the         right volunteering path for you.

 

4. Tape Aids for the Blind
Tape Aids for the Blind is a non-profit organisation which offers our nation a free library service for blind and print-handicapped people.
http://www.tapeaids.org.za/volunteer.htm

     How it can help you
A Volunteer at Tape Aids for the Blind will assist with studio recording, narrating and                           monitoring.  Skills learned at Tape Aids for the Blind will be extremely advantageous if you                 are considering a job as a Sound Technician a Commentator or Radio Announcer or even             a  career in the performing arts

5. SPCA
A non-profit organisation which promotes the welfare and safety of animals.  They rescue abused, lost and abandoned animals, treat them and then try to find new homes for them.
http://www.nspca.co.za/Page/19798/SPCAs-in-South-Africa

   How it can help you
A Volunteer at a local SPCA will gather many skills with regard to animal care.  If you are                     considering a career as a Veterinary Technician, Veterinary Surgeonor as an Animal                     Health Technician etc – this volunteering path may be right for you!

What’s stopping you?  Get skills for FREE! 

Pic: Unsplash

 

 

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