Discussing volunteeringh with some Volta based female students before National Volunteer Day (#NVDay

On Sunday September 16, I was added to the NUGS Volta Region Bloc Women’s Platform to share and discuss volunteering and volunteeringh. It was exciting to do this after Barcamp Ho coordinator Courage Christson Tetteh had done something similar with them earlier. Pamela Klutse is a young lady I admire and it was great to have this discussion with her, Makafui Tsey and other young tertiary level ladies based in the Volta Region, many of which have never been to Barcamp Ho. The various submissions I shared are important for National Volunteer Day so here is another #MightAfrican blog post :-) Remember to join us for NVDay18, see more details at volunteeringh.org

After sharing some thoughts on volunteeringh, the floor was open for questions. I love people who are curious and ask questions, it is a great trait to have. If people feel they have no questions to ask, then they need to build that skill, trait, knowledge, ability, yada yada yada.

Pamela Klutse asked the first question: Please are there any activities organized by GhanaThink towards NVDay18? If yes, how can anyone here who is interested take part?

I answered: Yes. We started National Volunteer Day — NVDay on September 21, 2013. For the 5 editions, we have averaged 60 activities across Ghana each year. There are various activities happening for #NVDay18 which can be found at Volunteeringh.org — more would be listed before September 21.

Pamela Klutse: Please are the activities always onsite? For instance has there been online campaigns etc where people can volunteer or participate remotely?

MightyAfrican: Those interested can.find activities by checking Volunteeringh.org, as well as #NVDay18 on Twitter & Facebook. Some activities would be shared via Facebook.com/group/Volunteeringh and Facebook.com/GhanaVolunteerProgram. There have been.some opportunities to volunteer remotely. One year, some people edited Wikipedia pages in their homes as part of National Volunteer Day. People can do a few things online, supporting on social media, etc

Pamela Klutse: Most of us are students, how mentioned you started volunteering in varsity. Please how did you combine that with schooling? Were there any challenges, if yes how did you overcome them?

MightyAfrican: I think students worry too much about schooling, classes and grades. You’re in university to learn, both inside and outside the classroom. By paying attention to volunteering, you’re improving your value while.at university. Because when you leave university, those who would employ or work with you would be looking for more well rounded people and not just those who did well in school. This is the time to volunteer, you would have not more free time when you’re done with school.

I volunteered in instances and situations that I knew would not take too much of my time or things I would love to do. These situations also helped me learn things that were useful in my classes and understanding things we were taught. The way I overcame challenges of balancing volunteering and classes, etc were around time management, getting help from fellow students and then my TAs. For time management, I cut out many unnecessary things and events and habits that didn’t add value to my life and spent adequate time on the serious things. Getting help is important. It helps you build better understanding of what you’re learning for current classes and corresponding courses, and saves you time working on assignments, etc.

Angelina‬: So in your voluntary work did you encounter monetary issues? If yes how did you go about it? In a situation where you are to travel to a particular town to do the voluntary work…and money is an issue how were you able to manoeuvre n get there.

#MightyAfrican: Since volunteering normally does not have payments, the terms of volunteering must be clear for everyone involved. If the organizer knows they cant pay transport, they should make that clear. If the volunteer cant transport themselves, they should.make that clear as well. The onus is on the volunteer show up and get things done, if they can’t, that’s also fine. If the volunteer understands the value of volunteering, they would borrow to be able to transport themselves. The terms should be clear. Problems arise when something is promised and not delivered. But assumptions should not be made, there should be clear communication. I’d also say there are many volunteeringh opportunities. Same way volunteers can be recommended, organizations can also be recommended. Great people would choose great organizations and vice versa.

I would add that I encourage people who are organizing Volunteeringh activities to find volunteers who live close to the activity. That way, they save money in budgeting, and save transport money for everyone involved. There are people who want to volunteer everywhere, Peki, Aflao to Elubo, Paga to Mankessim,etc 😊 If you know this Volunteeringh opportunity would be valuable to you, you can borrow transport money if you really really want to travel, and leverage the skills to make money to be able to pay back.

Angelina was not too convinced (I guess) and asked ‬😊: So how would such a person manage?

#MightyAfrican: It depends on the person.. I cant answer for them unfortunately. Or find volunteeringh opportunities right near them. They can also. create some by going to volunteer at a nearby school, church or orphanage

Pamela Klutse had a particular interest and queried: Please how does one organize an activity? Online or onsite.

#MightyAfrican: Online activities include a discussion topic or seminar online, editing a page, posting a page, etc. So one can organize one just like you have tonight Pamela. (wink wink). Online or onsite activities are not popular so.there are not many to choose from. Plan what you want to do, give people ample notice, get a couple of people to help, and you’re good to go

Lovina‬: You said volunteers should find volunteering organizations closer to them, what if one wants to be a volunteer but there is no organization close by and that fellow doesn’t have all it takes it organize one herself. Does that dream of voluntarism can’t be achieved?

MightyAfrican: If there are no volunteeringh opportunities,nearby, they can be created. There are churches and schools everywhere. You can approach the leaders there, discuss what their challenges are, and volunteer to do something you can to help. If the leaders are good, they’d find something for you. It should not always be about an organization, the volunteer should take responsibility. You can then put the work you did there on your CV. It shows great things about you if you do.

Pamela Klutse: Please are there any monetary benefits or motivation in volunteeringh? If it happens is that still volunteeringh?

MightyAfrican: Various people who organize Volunteeringh activities find ways to motivate volunteers. Most tend to cover food and transport. Others give gifts like tshirts, etc and show other ways of appreciation. Volunteering is priceless.

It’s important that you take good advice. There’s a lot of bad information spreading. Good information must spread. For your good, my good, the good of our communities, and for the good of Ghana and the world.

Can’t volunteer? Support us financially by donating via https://expresspaygh.com/nvday or via mobile money — MTN-0245857061 (Midas Bambilla) | Vodafone-0207823076 (Eleanor Asare) | AirtelTigo-0267879382 (Ato Ulzen-Appiah). Register, join activities or find more info via https://volunteeringh.org

I’m part of @GhanaThink which runs @barcampghana @JuniorCampGhana @volunteeringh, etc & @Museke. Read #mightyafrican blogs & @Abocco’s @ #GhanaConscious.