Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.”
A simple act of care and selflessness can create an endless ripple. Volunteering is the realest example of how little actions can make huge positive differences and that the population who volunteers embraces the joy of giving.
Ekta, a student of IIT ISM Dhanbad took her first bold step of traveling alone and volunteered in an environmental project for the development of farming in Sura Karta , Indonesia through AIESEC.
She worked in a project called Green revolution. Purpose of the project was to help the villagers with sustainable farming. The project included planting trees in different places, and teaching villagers how to cope with problems like shortage of land with the help of vertical gardens. She volunteered in different schools with a group of volunteers from different countries and spread awareness among kids about environmental concerns. They taught the community how it was possible to make useful things out of the trash and worked together to make recycled products. From concepts like waste management to essentials like taking care of the crops, everything was explained with the help of content delivered through seminars and presentations with the help of local volunteers.
“If you know you have to, you will.
I believed in the stories I heard. So I decided I have to go. I had to do something better for Indonesia. If not changing every reality then at least doing what I had an opportunity to do and making a difference in whatsoever way I was able to.”
As mentioned in the State of Global Volunteering Report, 2015
“ Youth volunteering is especially important in countries where young people predominate and where rapid social change is leading to dislocation, loss of traditional structures and unemployment. Young people volunteer their time and skills for a wide variety of reasons, such as idealism, hope for a better world, wanting to gain skills for future employment, to keep busy and to contribute to their own society.”
Everyone gets a chance to create their own stories and do things that are out of their comfort zone and are different than what they would usually pursue. For people like Ekta who take up opportunities like this, they get to experience a life unbound and they embrace the courage to live it thoroughly. Volunteering is a beautiful concept amidst a world where every country has problems and needs help. It is about ordinary people making extraordinary differences, being a part of solutions to problems across the globe and making friends everywhere they go.
Also in cases of international volunteering, you get to live a story in a country you don’t know and people you just meet. You get to travel alone and learn so much about yourself in just a short span of time. Placed in the most dynamic situations you get to be the best version of yourself. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, embracing your true self and exploring a community in its rawest form.
“The best thing about Indonesia is its people. Every place I went I found a new family and when I seeked help for travelling from the local people, they wouldn’t let me go alone and would accompany me until they were satisfied I had understood them.
The most special thing I have left in Indonesia is my host family. It was like I am their daughter and I was at home. I never imagined I could be so secure with someone I just met.”
Volunteering is the art of realizing that in the end, you are a part of something bigger than yourself and whatever it is that you are a part of is a consequence of every little thing that you do. No other concept explains the art of giving as well as volunteering does. It can change your life and can lead to love, it can be a source of happiness and do a lot for you, it can save lives and moreover, it can move a nation.
“ Today when I see all the difference I have made, it looks so difficult and different. But I feel so happy I have done something so valuable. Volunteering is not easy. It is a big investment and you always get more than you give. Having a different language did not mean I couldn’t create bonds or volunteer. I was living a beautiful experience.”
This is one leadership story out of thousands of stories lived every year through AIESEC exchange. When are you living yours?
Blog by: Khyati Ghai