Have you ever pulled a Katniss Everdeen, selflessly raised your hand and handled something without expecting something in return?
Well, that is called Volunteerism.
Volunteering nowadays may not be normal to most societies as we are in an era where when we are bound to do something for others, we often are given something in return. But do you know that volunteering in societies are very helpful in building a nation? Let’s find out how and why as we explore the world of volunteerism in this content.
Although not common, we encounter volunteering and volunteerism occasionally. There are organizations and groups intended for such and not just for a simple cause, but more on a greater and productive reason. We are not talking about how it affects our individuality here but how volunteering not just affects our well-being but the communities and societies we serve and help while volunteering.
According to the UN Volunteers.org, “volunteers are motivated by values like those of justice, equality and freedom as expressed in the United Nations Charter. A society which supports and encourages different forms of volunteering is likely to be a society which also promotes the well-being of its citizens.” Most of the volunteers are serving their own countries and are working to check accountability of the authorities and make sure that the government they have is responsive to its citizens. They also serve as the voices of those who are marginalized especially the sectors of women, youth, and others. This in turn makes their society more inclusive in their development.
While volunteerism fosters societal, economical, and governmental development, it is also believed to be the “basic expression of human relationships” since this encourages people to participate in their communities and get valued in the things they do. Along with volunteerism are the values that are inherent to improve social relationships such as solidarity, reciprocity, mutual trust, belonging, and empowerment.
In the Philippines, aside from non-government organizations and private institutions, a government agency was put up to “promote and coordinate volunteer programs and services in the Philippines”. The Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) is under the administrative supervision of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and “closely works with other government agencies, non-government organizations, the academe, the corporate group, the media and other partners in converging and linking the different volunteering efforts and resources so that they are aligned with national priorities and assist especially the marginalized sectors and communities”.
It would be more meaningful if volunteerism prospers in a society like that of ours. A heart for volunteer service can also mean a heart willing to serve despite not getting something personally. So that, in the future, we’ll be led by people who gives much more importance to the people they are working for more than themselves and the privileges they enjoy when they are in authority.
What are your volunteerism stories? Share with us in the comments below!