I Volunteer For Social Good – Hear My Story! [@OlumideIDOWU]
Today is International Volunteers Day! We celebrate our team of volunteer-contributors and freelance reporters who dedicate their time and resources to ensure you have something new to read on RR! Do you know any amazing volunteer in your community? Feel free to share their story! Here is our special feature for today– Mr Idowu shares his volunteering experience. Be inspired!
By Olumide Idowu, @OlumideIdowu
At an early age, I learnt that volunteering means helping others is the simplest way of impacting on the lives of people and making positive changes in my own life. At that time, it involved carrying out unassigned activities such as helping the community to be a better place to be. These are still relevant and I have come to realize that volunteering gives me the chance to do some environmental work and gain important professional experience at the same time. It has helped me to know and appreciate other cultures and traditions and the fact that all people are human and the same. This becomes more evident as I share their pains, fears, concerns, joy, hope and strides towards peace and development.
Indeed, volunteering is a great combination of learning and sharing opportunities that has given me fulfillment and self-development. My first concrete work experience was through volunteering for AIESEC Nigeria. I volunteered as a Project Director 2008-2013, when I was in the University. All of these activities were done in around Abuja with community people and students around the community.
My second experience in volunteering was after I finished my studies at University of Abuja. I was engaged as a Nigeria Youth Climate Coalition as the Youth Engagement Office where I served the coalition for several years. I was in charge of youth participations in all government processes and policies. I also motivated the local community especially the youths to know that they need to work together in making our community better. Was able to share with the communities, secondary schools and I was able to be more proactive in shaping their lives. They also have to be aware of their environment, in order to know the inherent opportunities and challenges, as well as possible ways of progress.
I feel very proud and happy because it is my country’s own volunteer opportunity and I was part of the first group. It gave me the opportunity to work in other organizations and countries. Today I still feel very strong about my past volunteering experience and I believe it has given me the chance to be what I am today – as UN Youth Champions for Africa on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Right now, I am working as a volunteer representing African Youth on DRR issues I am a member of a wonderful team working on improving the Programme in my country. Under the direct supervision of the Head of UNISDR Youth Champions office in Kenya. I work in close collaboration with 10 different youths in Africa to make our community safer. For my role, I review, coordinate and monitor the implementation of the projects at the local level, in close collaboration with the partner organizations. This involves research, distribution of relief materials to affected areas and communities, organizing trainings and development programs for youth around specific area to do more for their communities and providing feedback to relevant authorities.
Presently, as a UN Youth Champions for Africa on DRR, I’ve been through this role selected internationally as the Social Media Coordinator for Youth beyond disasters that works United Nations Major Groups Children and Youth, which my role is to coordinate all entire social media strategy in other to showcase success stories and what is going on in all countries when it comes to sustainable development projects.
With all this role which I served as a volunteer, I am really happy to say it helps me to do more for Africa and Nigeria. I have the opportunity to meet, engage and learn from different world leaders and share best case practice with them. UN events for me as been a wonderful platform to showcase my lovely passion Climate Wednesday which is getting momentum with UNEP recently.
… All for Volunteering
- The Greatest Gift of all Time is Time
- Just a Little Can Make A Difference in Another’s Life…and in Your Own
- The Greatest Gift I ever Gave, and Received
At the end of it all, and just like other volunteer work I have undertaken, I always go home each day fulfilled, knowing that my humble contribution gladdens someone’s heart and made their life better.
This is my story on volunteering. I hope it will stir you on to volunteer, give someone hope and put a smile on faces of the needy.