Volunteering is simply an act of charity. While a person volunteers, they sacrifice either their time or expertise for a cause and, more often than not, are not paid for doing so. Many people find it challenging to volunteer especially if they can think of other fun activities to do. In my case, a few friends laughed at me when they heard that I was volunteering at LEAP without getting paid. In their minds, one question stood out: “What’s the use?”Initially, I might have shared the same mindset as my friends; however, my stay at LEAP gave answers to that question. I realized that volunteering makesme happy and proud that someone or some people will indirectly have their lives transformed positively as a result of the tasks I carry out. Secondly, I discovered that volunteering prevents me from having a completely Capitalist paradigm, which would make me think that I must be paid for every thing I do. Volunteering is an act of kindness as well as endurance. In my situation, it is an extreme case of endurance since I have to wake up at 5 am everyday in order to arrive at work on time.Working at LEAP has made me consider how I can make a change in Nigeria and has helped me realize that my age or status would not be a hindrance while doing so. In addition, my knowledge and awareness have expanded substantially and I now understand the importance of things like networking and communication. Overall, thanks to the people that I have been fortunate to meet with, my experience at LEAP has been wonderful!
Omotoke Paul – Lawal
“When it comes to volunteering, I think that people forget the benefits that come with it and keep thinking about their own personal goals. However, volunteering is not only is a great way to develop skills and grow personally, but it also gives you a chance to make a difference in your community and make a real and lasting impact on the world. Starting at internship at LEAP Africa has allowed me not only to learn new skills and improve my existing skills but also let me see the other side of how NGOs operate, giving me the experience I need so that when I graduate and start my own initiative, I would have a solid idea not only of my goal, but also my plan to achieve that goal.”
I got in to work a few minutes ago and set up my laptop. I realize I didn’t shut it down last night *guilt*. I’ve been told several times that this is one route to damage my computer but I honestly had good intentions to send a few emails and draft some letters last night. Anyway, my mailbox is now staring at me with lots of emails and follow ups. I start to put together today’s to-do list mentally. “Dear God, when will I ever get on top of it all?” I’m really asking myself, not God.
Then I look up and see the poster of Madiba. Hmmmn, if I had walked down a street anywhere in the word and seen him, I’m certain I would have known him in an instance. He is probably one of the most recognizable faces anywhere in the world. Great leader, this man…rallying around so many other Africans around a cause could not have been a walk in the park. His gentle face and simple smile belie his underlying strength…and then the quote, “There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere”.
How reassuring that journey towards anything worthwhile isn’t hassle-free. Perhaps if it is done well, I could be the poster girl for a future generation. Now there’s a power thought.
Freedom was his thing. What’s yours? You could replace the word ‘freedom’ with a word or phrase that captures the essence of what you do.
Have a good day people.
Article by IO