Why should you volunteer?

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Facebook makes you waste a lot of your time, right? But it also gives you ideas, motivation, inspiration just when you need them the most. Yes, it does sadden you when you are already enough vulnerable but let’s focus on positivity for the sake of this post, shall we?

One of my Facebook friends shared a meme which reminded me of a post I was supposed to write back in February.

volunteer

The image above shows a public mindset that’s prevalent in the society of Pakistan – I cannot be sure about other developing countries; it is though quite sought-after for a Pakistani youngster to yearn for a government job while having condescending views about the government hospitals, schools, trains and just about every other public service. This thought process can sometimes be so overbearing when you get to see doctors working at government hospitals never opting for their regular checkups to be done at the same place; neither do we see any government school teacher sending his/her kids to the same school – unless it’s about medical or engineering colleges which then ensure that your children would get same government jobs in the future. Never ending cycle, gah!

However, the post is not about how this system keeps deteriorating public services while making private services more expensive and unreachable for the lower strata of society, but on how we as a community can change this perception or work towards changing it – bit by bit.

Volunteering – offering services without getting paid. When we are in our teens, we seem to be very excited about volunteer work. It gives us some sense of maturity, responsibility and accomplishment. Since we are not hired anywhere – in an average case, at least – we want to do something that would make us feel good and old – yes. But once we graduate and get over the time of looking for a perfect career – or business for that matter – somehow volunteering goes behind the curtains. It becomes the job for kids; you are caught up with work and other family responsibilities; and you also consider it the job for unemployed. No, it’s not.

Even while having jobs and getting annoyed at errands thrown at us by our families, we can still get some time for volunteering. Oh no, I am definitely not asking you to cut some time off Twitter, Instagram, FB etc but just a few hours every other week, month or whatever suitable to give something to the betterment of the place you live in? It definitely needs it!

Also, since it sends you some feel-good vibes, and you might even get addicted replacing your weekend shopping and eating-out trips with some good volunteer work, thus getting rid of social obligations, it’s a win-win. Don’t do it every weekend though since other stuff is necessary to make you feel normal in this strictly defined human world.

For starters, here are a few good places to start your volunteering career:

TCF: The Citizens Foundation has a proper volunteering system with different mentoring sessions happening over the year in various parts of country. TCF envisions to remove barriers of class and privilege with the help of quality education. Citizens Foundation has some 126,000 students in 910 schools over 97 towns around the country. You might get quite impressed with TCF’s success stories – reading them might motivate you more to move your behind for some good work. To get more info about TCF’s volunteer program, head to their website.

Zindagi Trust: this trust actually works on the concerns mentioned in the post earlier – working on improving public services. Government schools to be accurate. Zindagi Trust aims to reform public schools by lobbying to government to improve education policy. The trust is always seeking volunteers who can help in teaching students some fun courses – giving painting classes for example? – running the awareness programs or simply helping the trust with fundraising and other events at colleges, universities or in your locality. Learn more about ZT through their Facebook page and get involved from their website.

Making scarves out of old t-shirts!

PS3Okay, this one is certainly not in the league of the other two organizations mentioned above but since it’s from Hyderabad – I am going to be biased and send them some love. Yes, I do that. This small not-for-profit is focused on kids and improving their lifestyle. In January this year, I volunteered with them in the Government School of Blind, Deaf & Mentally Retarded, Hyderabad. The group was there to sort of celebrate kids’ birthdays and have some party-scene-on kind of day with them to cheer them up. Funds had been raised from family and friends and the party was arranged by the volunteers. They are very fond of taking photos so you will notice a lot of pictures of the group on their Facebook page.

After the event when I discussed about this trend of youngsters opening up their organizations to help communities rather than volunteering with other established setups to reach more people and areas, I was particularly pointed to the egoistic nature of such blooming organizations started by youngsters with so many selfies and stuff. I do not negate such concerns that this approach might actually harm the causes – like feeding families in Ramzan might make certain families dependent on you rather than being self-sufficient – nevertheless it’s good to see youngsters taking time out for causes dear to their hearts. And if some well-versed philanthropists could mentor such organizations and channel their abilities and energies to proper ways, it would definitely do some real good to the country. Share with them your ideas, experience and help them grow strong!

volunteer

Taking say-cheese to a whole new level! ❤

Make a pledge today and start volunteering. If you are too lazy to get out of your house, help someone online. Mentor kids, counsel them, write voluntarily for some cause, help your language and culture grow or support a depressed friend. In fact, anything that makes you feel good and helps someone else too – because compassion lives longer than you!

“Teach this triple truth to all: a generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.” – Buddha

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