My volunteering experience

If you look up for the definition of volunteering on internet, e.g. in Wikipedia, it will be the following “Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial gain.” But as a volunteer myself I consider volunteering more important than just doing something without asking for money. For me, being a volunteer means being ready to change other’s as well as your life; not to be afraid of challenges and new experiences.

Being born and raised in a society where the only purpose of working is making money, I decided to volunteer right after I entered the university. I was lucky enough to become member of “Youth Voices Georgia (YVG)”, youth group under the World Bank. From the beginning it was hard, I had no idea what to expect and what I supposed to do. It was the first time I learned about things like non-formal education and the real meaning of volunteering. Each project I participated in played its part in my personal and professional development; Along with my group I had opportunities to work with people I had never imagined to meet before. For instance, I was involved in a joint project between YVG and the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, aiming to give training courses about the conflict resolution and personal development for probationers in Georgia. Before that project I never had a chance to meet young people like me who had just left prison and tried to reintegrate in the society. I listened to the stories that sounded very unrealistic for me but time after time I realized that these people are normal part of our society. All of us make mistakes and one never knows what can happen to her/him; Sometimes, you need to forget past and just go on…

After volunteering in YVG for four years, I found out that this is my aspiration; I like being even a tiny reason of other people’s happiness, hopes and dreams. This is so charming that, I believe, if someone decides to be a volunteer, she/he cannot stop doing it. When I graduated from the university and I wanted to take a gap year but as well to go abroad for some time, I started to look for the opportunities. I had heard about the European Volunteering Service (EVS) so I thought I could try it. This was a chance for me to explore new countries, culture and at the same time think about my future. I knew that I wanted to do my EVS in a small city where I would be able to do more things for local community and be able to travel a lot. I sent hundreds of e-mails to the hosting organizations asking for information but received only few responses. That was the time I thought that maybe this was not for me and I needed to try something else. But, I believe that everything happens for a reason, so for the first time, I decided to check EVS group on Facebook and found the announcement offering to become an EVS volunteer in Lithuania. While choosing the suitable project, the main criteria for me was to have interesting job and I understood that Lithuanian project was the one I needed to apply for. After a few interviews I was accepted and started to imagine my life there, in farther Lithuania…

And now, I am already here in Marijampole, working on this article and thinking about how lucky I am to be part of the organization called “Sveikatingumo Idejos” (yes, I already know how to write it without checking the spelling) and to have an opportunity to know these great people. I am sure that all kind of volunteering is unforgettable experience because it gives you the most important – people; people who can change your whole life forever and this is all that matters.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *