Written by Paul Reynolds and published by Sallie Grayson
I had the great pleasure of hosting the volunteers’ room at the recent social for past, present and future volunteers, both for e volunteering and actual future placements when we are able to do so. I had undertaken an e volunteering placement at Treak in Cambodia for 12 weeks from January to March this year. (To learn about the project where Paul volunteered take a look at the links at the end of this article). For me it was a voyage into the unknown, with Zoom meetings rather than face to face volunteering, but I was very well prepared by Dianne and Sallie, and was subsequently carried away by the sheer energy of Dara and Viphou, the Head and Deputy Head.
During the course of conversations with volunteers, it was lovely and refreshing to hear of so many diverse and transferable skills that everyone was able to offer. What became apparent very quickly was the sheer enthusiasm and indeed humility of all who spoke. The most important point to remember for potential volunteers is that qualifications are not an essential for a placement, but we are all able to pass on a variety of both life and professional skills. The projects are certainly multi- dimensional and as such can be very rewarding.
Listening to volunteers, the point was clearly made that as a potential e volunteer you can have the best of both worlds. It can be a taster or forerunner prior to an actual placement or it can be a ‘stand alone’ placement. In this respect you can choose your options and be flexible. You can give as little as an hour a week if you wish, although your enthusiasm and passion for your subject or that of those you are helping will often want you to do more. It is as much or as little as you wish, which is so important for those with other commitments.
I heartily recommend a visit to a people and places virtual social – be it to learn about what you could do – catch up on news from the programmes or to share some time with other enthusiasts. The next social date will be announced next month – watch out for that!