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Volunteering Day


Thursday 5, 2014 was a very exciting day for the MASHAV Group Youth at Risk. We were introduced to the true meaning, impact, and benefits of volunteering. This was presented to us by Liora from JDC. We understood that volunteering is working without pay, giving service, sharing time, expertise, and resources. Also, it should be done freely and willingly. Prior to this session, we looked at volunteerism as something casual. We were brought to the reality of what kind of damage can be done if volunteerism is not managed properly. To ensure success of volunteering by youth, focus should be placed on flexibility and be result oriented. We were also made to understand for the first time that volunteering should be seen as saving money but not giving money. For example, if an organization/company gets volunteers’ services, the money that is saved through those services should be used to improve other projects.

 

Some of the benefits from volunteering services are economic, social, educational, cultural, and health related. Volunteers should be recruited and undergo an interview to ensure compatibility with the organization’s needs. The components of volunteering are formal, informal, short term, and long term. There are also a number of important steps to be taken to manage volunteerism in a professional way.  These steps are needs assessment, definition of roles, recruitment, screening of volunteers, definition of volunteer contract, acquaintance with the organization (orientation), training of volunteers, assignment and induction; supervision and support; guidance training and enrichment; evaluation of the volunteers, reward, appreciation, and recognition of the volunteers and time span (which means the end of the volunteers’ work).
To get maximum results volunteers should be treated with respect.  Unlike previously when volunteering was seen as giving by an individual, we now get a better understanding that there are mutual benefits. It was a very interesting session where all the participants expressed their appreciation to the lecturer for a very insightful delivery on the topic of volunteerism.


In addition, this session was very timely. Later that night, participants had the opportunity to put into action some of the concepts, through patrol with parent volunteers in the city. They help youth at risk when the need arises. It was a wonderful and worthwhile experience.
Second Post Patrick , Zano, Tikva, and Carla