Volunteering my life!

I first thought that volunteering was something you do when you have retired. And as my country is a welfare state, I didn’t really feel the need for volunteers in my community.  Then, while I was a European Volunteer at the Volunteer Centre, I learnt all the benefits of volunteering, for the organisations, for the volunteers and for the community in general. Back in my country, I started with my old routine, but then I realised that my life lacked sense without volunteering.

After a 9 month period within the Volunteer Centre, I guess my colleagues have convinced me that volunteering is something necessary, for the well-being of all of us. So I started offering my help for occasional events, for schools or local NGOs, and in addition to it, I started volunteering as a French teacher to refugees in France. At first, it felt good, but then I figured out that it’s even worse: I would feel guilty if I didn’t volunteer!!! I guess the VC worked well on me!Now I think I volunteer in too many organisations, it’s taking too much of my time, but the crisis we are going through requires even more efforts from all of us.  What saddens me is that it’s not always recognised by the others. Some of my family members for example don’t always understand why I do things for free while I could make good money out of it… They are sad for me, that I haven’t understood how the world works and that it’s not this way that I’m going to make a good living one day… I guess we have different definitions of “wealth”.

I still need to find specific arguments for people who are not familiar at all with the concept of volunteering, to convince them that volunteering can enrich your life, and those of others, in a way that words can hardly describe. 

By: Julie Marchand