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:
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!
WAYS 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.
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.
Our 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.