Voluntary service has been rated one of the most gratifying extra-curricular activities in the world today. In China, it is a noble course that every parent wishes their kids to pursue. Indeed, every year several youths under the banner ofAsian Game Volunteers stream from various parts of the country to Guangzhou at their own expenses. Here they pull their efforts together and offer their perfect services to the games as they interact with their colleagues from different towns. It is this annual event that opened my eyes to the numerous opportunities that exist for volunteers. To date, I have been able to visit several countries in Asia and Africa as a volunteer, helping the needy people in the remote villages of the world. The last and the most captivating being our trip to Kenya last year where our team offered free medical services to several people in the slums of Nairobi capital city of Kenya.
I have found that volunteering is very helpful to our social growth. Particularly, I used to be very shy when I was around ten years old, but that was before I discovered this special art. However, through meeting many new people and having talked to them have made me a better person. It serves a great deal to boost one’s confidence and self esteem. In Asia today, several cases of suicide are reported daily, especially among the youths. This is because majority of the young people have lost their sense of belonging and the meaning of their lives. Hence being a volunteer solves this issue. It puts you in the company of the people who share your frustrations and feel your pains in life. Indeed, this renewed sense of hope has become an important criterion for job interviews with most employers preferring the most motivated lot.
Voluntary service offers a perfect opportunity for adventure. I have been able to learn several things about life and appreciate different cultures that exist in the world. I vividly remember how much we enjoyed the cultural dance of the Maasai people in Kenya. Actually, our crew organized for an excursion tour to Maasai Mara Game Reserve after we were done with the medical camp in Nairobi. It was a two-hour drive down the Great Rift Valley. The scenery was beautiful from the very beginning, all kinds of animals grazing. When we got to Maasai land, we were taken to visit a Maasai home- Manyatta. It’s a kind of simple housing with mudded walls and mudded roofs. You would imagine how warm that would be and just how best it would suit our cold climate here. Besides, the hospitality of the people is so profound. Certainly, these adventures have increased my awareness of the world around us. The fact that you get to appreciate that not everyone lives the way you do or eats the things you eat is very important for our social integration. I remember my friend Mortlande with whom we met in my first trip to Malaysia. He had come all the way from South Africa to attend the Volunteers Medical camp. He told me about how cold it was in Asia as compared to Africa. Clearly, these are life lessons that I love to get first hand through volunteer work rather than wait to read in Geography books.
Young people develop a much better attitude about school by participating in voluntary services. Historically, school has never been an enjoyable place for most kids. But getting them involved in voluntary activities makes them feel appreciated. It is this feeling that has seen more youths in Asia pursue difficult curricular like engineering without a push. In particular, the Mahanaim program in Korea has enrolled thousands of young people in different fields of study, by getting them volunteer during their free time.
There has never been anything more gratifying than to watch someone close to you grow in their life to become responsible people. This has been my life since I began participating in voluntary work. The fact that you get to be assigned specific duties prepares one to lead. I believe I’m a much better person today because of being a volunteer and more ready to face the world as a young leader.