Friday 3 April 2015

Can Volunteering In Community Initiatives Be A Learning Mechanism?

Volunteering in community initiatives and other endeavors to create impact in society, can be a great learning model – It can assist volunteers to gain workplace skills, a sense of responsibility and a forum to test many of their own inherent abilities. These skills can definitely fill the gaps in workplace, if appropriately utilized.

A volunteer, as we know is someone who performs a service willingly and without pay. It is not any obligation that drives the volunteer to provide such services. It is either based on his interest or passion to execute the voluntary assignment to see results. When you do a task without expecting any monetary return and encouraged mainly by consequence and outcomes, the learning is not only faster but also self- motivated and without any excuse.

If such efforts are streamlined and organized, engaging people with potential can be fruitful exercise both for the community and volunteer in terms of experience, learning and acquiring results. Both individual contributors and managers can be developed in such programs. This approach to talent development will prepare the volunteers with few of these attributes, provided they are associated with a project end to end.

Decision making:

As part of a program, when volunteers gain knowledge of local resources available, they take decisions on the spot to solve community needs, except those that require approval from program leaders.

A sense of ownership

The sense of ownership toward common goal automatically makes you not only accountable (Individual) but responsible (Group) so that there is no disruption at least due to your contribution as that will have direct impact on the outcomes. As it is community related and its result affect people, any one with bare minimum integrity will execute their individual tasks with care. This programs provide the volunteers several opportunities to build trust, resolve conflicts and keep their focus intact.

Team players

Volunteers work with people from diverse background to work toward a common impact and while working with local charitable and nonprofit agencies, they learn and gather enough knowledge about the functions of various departments, which is huge training in itself. They not only learn team work but depending upon how critical the project is, they also become better and effective communicators and project leaders. Their self-esteem increases many fold.

Volunteering is more about you, than others. The decision to volunteer is the first step towards new learning in a very unconventional way.

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