The Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia is working to improve youth participation under the “All for YOUth, YOUth for all” project funded by the European Union. In the framework of the project, we are organizing an “iVolunteer” media campaign to advertise the benefits of volunteerism. How does volunteering impact young people and what changes does it bring to their life and view of life? Young Mongolians who are influencing their community while developing and rediscovering themselves by volunteering and helping people have shared their stories with us to support the iVolunteer media campaign.
U.Ganbayar: Young people, who have volunteering experience, are more responsible and reliable for any work they do.
“I was shy and reserved child. By working in civil society organizations as a volunteer, I learned more about myself and became more outgoing. I think voluntary work is a big opportunity to develop youth participation in society. It is important to understand that volunteering is about time, contribution, and responsibility, rather than deciding to work as volunteer based on emotions. It’s similar to deciding on a career - talking to people in that sector about what kind of volunteer work and what sector you would like to volunteer in would help you. Young people, who have volunteering experience, are more responsible and reliable in any work they do. Volunteering allows developing oneself by doing things you like in the right place besides contributing to society.”
D.Erdenesuren: Volunteering built my values.
“I started volunteering in the LGBT in 2014 firstly. I work as a Project Manager on the Legal Programme of this LGBT now. It was an important step for me to volunteer for sexual and gender minorities. I didn’t know anything about volunteering at first. I created an opportunity to develop myself and create my ideas and make them real by pursuing my interest.
The advantage of volunteering in a professional team is to become a part of the team members even though the young people don’t have work experience. Finding my values, and working for my values and understanding human rights and different social groups, developing my skills and understanding the organization's culture are some of many things that I learned through volunteering. I would like to tell the youth: Don't be afraid. If you want, everyone can be a volunteer in any sector they want or they are interested in.”
Munkhjin: We learn many skills that are not taught in school for free while volunteering.
“I organised my very first charity campaign when I was 12 years old in my secondary school. Starting from high school to university, I have been doing volunteer work for 9 years. Volunteering is a simple solution to solve the problems in our society. It seems that young people, who want to volunteer, don’t dare to do it even when they dream big. Young people tend to wait until they have experience, money and time to start volunteering. Actually, being a man and woman and young and old isn't important in volunteering, even my 6-year-old sister can volunteer.
It is important to understand volunteering in your community by simply doing what you can to solve the big problems.
Creating a positive atmosphere by smiling gently is a way of making an impact. Experiencing new things by volunteering teaches you more than any expensive training and allows you to see life differently. We learn many skills that are not taught in school for free. I like to do volunteer work and help others. My hobby became the work that I do every single day. Training, preparing, guiding, and developing the volunteers is my job.
I am happy and energetic at work as my job is the thing that I have been doing since my childhood. If you aim to develop and challenge yourself and contribute to society, start volunteering instead of waiting for a suitable time. It is necessary to start volunteering after receiving training and guidance from volunteer organizations if you don't know where to start, whom to help and what to do. Red Cross society is the closest guide organization anywhere in the world."
B.Batchimeg: It is important to understand that there are many social groups and different lives.
“I have been volunteering at the Women for Change NGO for 6 years. The organization works for the promotion of gender equality, increasing youth participation, and supporting the youth’s influence on the law and regulation. I improved my skill to communicate with people from different social classes and expanded my views of the social problems in society through volunteering. Furthermore, I developed a strong perspective and skills that would be a good asset to work in the public and private sectors. Even though young people do volunteer work for different purposes, it is important to understand that there are many social classes and different lives.
Ts.Baasannyambuu: When you become confident in what you are doing, the people around you accept it.
“When I started volunteering, it was strange for the people around me that I volunteered for the good of others and society at no cost besides my school, homework and assignments. It was not uncommon for me to go to school during the day and then volunteer after school, and stay up late doing my homework. At that point, I faced questions such as “Why are you giving so much pressure to yourself and what for? However, over time, I became more and more convinced that I was doing the right thing. When you become confident in what you are doing, the people around you accept it.
It’s great that young people are looking at volunteering a little differently. At least, I picked up a very good habit of punctuality. It is because I respect and value others’ time and am aware of the importance of punctuality. A supportive relationship, receiving support from people on things you struggle with no worries and helping others with things that you can do, enables you to achieve more than you ever could on your own. Therefore, I am trying to maintain the supportive relationship in my life.
I work for the Beautiful Heart NGO. The organization works for preventing and combating child sexual abuse. Also, It gives psychosocial support to strengthen the resilience and coping capacity of survivors of sexual abuse. Even though individuals working in this sector face many psychosocial problems, I think I have been consistently working thanks to the experience and skills that I acquired while volunteering. I would like to invite you all to visit iVolunteer.mn – that is being a bridge for cooperation between a volunteer and the organization and promoting volunteering to the public.
You are welcome to join the media campaign “iVolunteer” under the “All for YOUth, YOUth for all" project funded by the European Union and the Canadian Fund. The project is being implemented by the Caritas Czech Republic in Mongolia, the Mongolian Youth Council and the Center of Citizenship Education.
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