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Exploring Volunteerism: Insights from a Serial Volunteer



Volunteering is a multifaceted endeavour that holds different meanings for different people. While some may volunteer out of passion or personal development, for me, it transcends into something deeper - a moral responsibility to create a more equitable society and a better world for all to live in.

 

One of my most impactful experiences has been my involvement with the Young Africa Centre. Alongside my co-chair Cathy, we embarked on building a structure from scratch within the Africa Centre. We meticulously designed the vision and engagement strategy for the Young Africa Centre, revamped the communications channels and conducted extensive interviews to assemble a competent team (of 15) to implement the strategy. This challenging endeavour was entirely voluntary, on top of managing a 9-5 job and commitments with other organizations such as the ONE Campaign and Birmingham Global Shapers (an initiative of the World Economic Forum) and many other volunteering commitments.

 

The challenges and rewards of volunteering have taught me invaluable lessons. By dedicating my time and skills to a cause I am passionate about, I have not only contributed to the betterment of others but have also enriched my sense of purpose and growth. My eyes are now open to the power of collective action and the impact we can make when we come together to create positive change.


I have also developed crucial skills such as leadership, communication, and team management, which have proven to be valuable assets in my personal and professional life. I will say that my volunteering commitments have also provided me with the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals who share the same values and aspirations for a better society, fostering meaningful relationships and networks.


Although volunteering offers numerous benefits, it also presents challenges that can lead to burnout. At times, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle of constantly doing without pausing to remember why we started. I found myself in this situation, feeling lost and overwhelmed by my commitments. It took some introspection to realize I had forgotten my initial motivation for volunteering. I felt like I was running on autopilot, which eventually led to severe burnout. Thankfully, I managed to snap out of it by reevaluating my priorities and assessing which commitments were truly fulfilling and which were contributing to my exhaustion. By doing so, I prevented myself from falling into the trap of aimless volunteering and regained a sense of purpose.

 

So, to all the volunteers who selflessly dedicate their time and efforts to various causes, I want to express my admiration and gratitude. Your unwavering commitment and passion make a tangible difference in the lives of others and contribute to building a more inclusive and just world. Keep doing what you're doing, and remember that your work has the potential to open doors and create lasting impact beyond measure. And don't forget to take breaks, reassess your commitments, and prioritize your well-being. Your work is invaluable, and I wish you all the best on your journey. Godspeed.

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