Youth Volunteerism: Helping Gen Z and Millennials understand the art of giving
Art of giving makes true sense when it comes from within and creates a deep connection between the heart and the soul. It is important to nurture this connection early, specifically among the youth. On 'world NGO day', let us dive into the need of youth volunteerism at an young age.
Sunday February 27, 2022,
4 min Read
“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” -- Gautama Buddha
Indians are not new to the concept of donations or ‘daan’, and our ancestors and grandparents always told us – “No act of giving is small”. Even though something may appear insignificant, every small act can create a big impact.
Art of giving makes true sense when it comes from within and creates a deep connection between the heart and the soul. I feel it is important to nurture this connection early, specifically among the youth.
All of us look for a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives and it is a well-researched fact that altruism is one of the ways of finding meaning in our lives. When youth involve themselves in contributing and volunteering at such an impressionable age, they not just set a transformational foundation for their life ahead, but also create a social capital for the country.
Financial assistance is vital for all NGOs. But helping hands are equally important. There are plenty of NGOs who need volunteers all the time to help them get better in their pursuit.
Gen-Zers and Millennials come with a lot of value and technological understanding. Their belief in social causes, environmental issues, and other initiatives like mental health is strong. They are willing to take time out and consciously work towards them. Young volunteers make a diverse and dynamic team that doubles up as a strong supporter base. Therefore, making youth volunteering advantageous to all.
Volunteering can benefit youth in many ways
Youth is that phase of life when everyone is busy shaping their lives. It is a delicate phase when one goes through many physiological and psychological changes. With negativity hounding them in the form of social issues, mental health, and more, youth volunteerism is like a soothing balm that not just calms the frayed nerves, but gives these youth a direction, hope, and motivation to keep going.
While volunteering helps make the communities better, it also helps these young adults see and transform themselves. It allows them to see the impact of their contribution. It builds a sense of responsibility and a taste of the real-world experience.
Young volunteers learn to:
1. Develop skills
Youth volunteers learn to identify problems, collaborate with others, and solve these problems. These problem-solving skills come in handy in academics, workplaces, and even their personal lives. It helps them experience the power of teamwork.
2. Strengthen social capital
Young adults who volunteer learn to build relationships and strengthen their networks. Volunteering keeps them connected to their community and also provides employment opportunities. Employers prefer to hire candidates with volunteering experience.
3. Be the change
Real-life challenges are real problems staring into the face and need sustainable solutions. Volunteering allows them to think innovatively. Changes that occur owing to their efforts establish a cognitive connection between the action and the outcomes. It gives them the opportunity to be changemakers who become leaders.
4. Be respectful
Young adults are self-aware and are also aware of others. They learn to put themselves aside to address the needs of others. They learn to become respectful to others. Exposure to meaningful volunteer opportunities will foster respect, empathy, inclusivity, and importance for safe communities. This also contributes to their academic success, motivating them to learn more about themselves and their support causes.
Youth may lack the experience, but their infectious energy is second to none, and they prove to be significant dynamic assets to any campaign. Young Volunteers Organisation (YVO) focuses on giving the youth a platform to contribute, participate and associate themselves with the change. Every positive change is treasured and accounted for, no matter how big or small.
Social impacts don't need extensive campaigns. They can have humble beginnings and scale-up in due course of time.
A small monthly monetary contribution and a weekend or two volunteering can change a lot. It can bring about a positive change in your community and your personality. Giving back to the society is not just a feel-good factor; it is the basis of altruism.
I believe giving is living and the earlier we learn the art of giving, the better we can learn the art of living.
Edited by Megha Reddy
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)