Blogs

What difference does it make - to volunteers?
13 February 2006, 15:43
by Editor, World Volunteer Web

A doctor from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) takes care of a young child in Pakistan. (Photo: Sveinung Uddu Ystad/Norwegian Red Cross)A doctor from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) takes care of a young child in Pakistan. (Photo: Sveinung Uddu Ystad/Norwegian Red Cross)
Without any qualms, Jon Snow, a British television reporter, claimed that volunteering changed his life after teaching children in Uganda. Since then, he’s been working with volunteer organizations.

Some volunteers’ names are etched in the history of astronomy - a "submicroscopic dust" will be named after them. NASA recently enlisted an army of Internet volunteers to identify interstellar dust from the Stardust earth re-entry.

In another kind of stargazing, do you know that the international Sundance film festival, like most cultural and sports events, are practically run by volunteers? Not only that, China will start recruiting volunteers this June for the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

These are but a few stories that illustrate volunteers’ impact - individually and collectively. But a recent research showed that some volunteers don’t value their experiences. A study done by UK’s Chartered Management Institute and the international volunteer-sending organization VSO, reveal that some individuals fail to capitalize on their volunteering experiences.

What does your volunteer experience teach you? How do you apply the skills you’ve learned during volunteering in your normal, everyday work and life? Did volunteering make a difference? Tell us here!

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