programmes

ABOUT VOLUNTEERING

why-volunteerWHY VOLUNTEER
The very seed of Youthreach lies in the belief that it is as important to give as it is to receive. The volunteer and the organisation are both beneficiaries. Each receives from and gives to the other seamlessly, and, often, spontaneously. Each schools the other in a spirit of collaboration, leveraging each other’s strengths in a mutually enriching, sensitising process.

People volunteer for several reasons. From the purely altruistic to exploring alternative career paths, from making good use of their time and ability to doing something they truly are passionate about, something that they may not find in their professional or academic lives… the spectrum is wide.
We believe that broadly the following motivations can become impetus for volunteering:

  • Make a difference; make visible, if small, changes
  • Explore and know a new community / neighbourhood
  • Explore new career options / test one’s abilities
  • Gain new skills and improve the already existing ones through experience on the ground
  • Help a friend, have fun
  • Translate a passion – do something which regular professional / academic life don’t afford or offer
  • Address personal experience with solving the ‘other’s’ problem
  • Feel needed, feel good and feel proud
  • Make good use of time and ability
  • Make new friends and relieve oneself of unpleasant feelings such as loneliness
  • Gain newer experiences by being / working with dissimilar people
  • Advocate a cause and learn to work in a team
  • Experiment; stand up and be counted
  • Know the joy of working selflessly, yet fervently

While selflessness is a great virtue for a volunteer, Youthreach believes working for and with others, whatever the motive, transforms individuals. That, in turn, has a salutary effect on the society they make up. One may volunteer to diversify one’s resume, earn some extra points for a university admission, act in a socially desirable way, or simply, to feel better about one self. Inherent in volunteerism is the idea of inclusivity, of regarding the other as self. And that is an invaluable thing!

why-volunteer_1WAYS OF THE VOLUNTEER
Much like building bridges between the two worlds of the corporate and the NGO whereby the needs of both are fulfilled, Youthreach interfaces between the NGOs that need volunteers and people looking for spaces and organisations to volunteer with.
Youthreach believes this not only enables building of a strong volunteer ethic in the development sector but also provides us with opportunities to be associated with a range issues, including disability, disadvantaged children, women, environment, HIV-AIDS, old age and animals.

Youthreach facilitates:

  • Those who like to work directly with children – for example, reading to them or recording for them
  • Those who want to assist in NGO activities such as office work, documentation and fund raising
  • Professionals like doctors, teachers, psychologists, photographers. They could work with children or work with an NGO and impart a particular skill (health camps, teaching skills, counselling)
  • Artists, graphic designers, web designers and copywriters who are game to design websites, write brochures and plan and execute media collateral for NGOs
  • Capacity builders who can provide skills and train NGO staff to improve their efficiency and productivity levels. These trainings or workshops may be related to teaching, public relations, psychology, team building and computers.
  • Those who may like to take disadvantaged children as apprentices for a year or two in sculpture, dance, music, theatre, photography, fine art and fashion design.
  • Those who can mobilise materials like clothes, toys, books, furniture, computers, and equipment
  • Those who can set up Income generation projects
  • Those who can begin a community campaign / awareness drive on children’s issues or the environment
  • Those who can form corporate partnerships, promote volunteerism, develop and strengthen communities, offer funds, lend training skills, donate materials and organise exposure trips
  • Those who can initiate media partnerships, spread awareness on the above mentioned issues, carry editorials, lend space for posters, air radio spots and give free commercial space
  • Volunteer coordinators, an integral part of our support structure, who spread the vision of volunteerism. By actively dealing with volunteers, they add much depth to the volunteering process.

Anyone can be a volunteer with Youthreach. No fixed profiles, no specifications, and no restrictions. You could be an accountant or architect, biologist or bartender, ecologist or economist, photographer or philosopher, musician or mathematician… the only pre-requisite to be our volunteer is to want to be one, with a responsive heart. Time, money, skills, space, ideas or craft… whatever you may have and are willing to share puts you on our volunteer list.

why-volunteerOur volunteers have helped Youthreach mobilise materials from friends, schools, colleges and their workplace. Depending on the needs of NGOs, Youthreach distributes the collections ranging from clothes, toothpaste, soap and toys to books, furniture, computers, mobile phones and cars. Depending also on the skill-set, time and resources of our volunteers, they can set up income-generation projects where the talent and ability of communities that our NGO partners work with can be transformed into marketable opportunities. Assessing the needs of both, Youthreach helps facilitate projects with a clear business plan for volunteers so that the communities can access skill training and extra income. Some volunteers become an integral part of our support structure by becoming volunteer coordinators. The roles and responsibilities of coordinators in Youthreach include orientation of volunteers, field visits, follow-ups, getting feedback, organising volunteer meetings, documenting volunteer hours, updating volunteer options and communicating on a weekly basis with the Youthreach team.