My Trip down Virtual Volunteering Lane
And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paul Coelho
I seem to have experienced something close to this!
When physical distance becomes a challenge to Volunteering:
In my previous job role as an NGO Relationship Manager, I had a critical mandate to follow. I had to volunteer for about 4 hours per month. I was interested in volunteering with a couple of volunteer groups and NGOs in Bangalore. But the physical distance from home to the volunteering sites was a challenge!
My commute to and from the office was on an average of 3 to 4 hours per day. And, sometimes, work extended to the weekend as well. Given the weekly travel adventure, thanks to the Bangalore traffic, I mostly preferred staying indoors on weekends.
Hence, I resorted to virtual volunteering to complete my volunteering hours required by my organization. I signed up for editing and writing loan stories of small-scale business owners from rural areas through a crowd-funding platform.
Rise and shine of Virtual Volunteering in the pandemic world:
This year has, however, allowed me to volunteer for activities with volunteer groups whose social media pages, I would eagerly look at during my hectic office-commuting days.
Here are some of my virtual volunteering adventures in the last couple of months:
- Audio-recording for visually challenged students: I have audio recorded test questions and answers for visually challenged students using the recorder on my phone. The volunteering group who organized this activity had assigned me the list of questions and answers.
- Blogging: I attended some of the webinars organized by NGOs and volunteer groups on socially relevant themes such as First Aid for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and blogged about my learnings on LinkedIn.
- Learned the basics of Indian Sign Language: I attended virtual workshops on the basics of sign language by volunteer groups/NGOs. Indian Sign Language is the language of hand gestures and facial expressions used by persons with hearing impairment. Since I have been staying indoors, I keep practising the basics I’ve learned
During the pre-pandemic days, I could not take part in the above activities. I had to be physically present to engage in them. Now, thanks to the rise of virtual volunteering in the current situation, I could dive into these volunteering spaces.
It feels emotionally satisfying to take part in these virtual volunteering programs. I am glad that something good came out of this pandemic situation – the rise and shine of virtual volunteering!
Maybe, it is true that the universe rewards us with what we want, provided we are patient!
Daan Utsav or the Joy of Giving Week is here:
Did you know that India’s festival of giving or Daan Utsav has already started? It will last from October 2 and will wind up on October 8, 2020. During this time, NGOs and volunteer groups organize different social initiatives to involve volunteers and socially-conscious individuals to do their bit towards social good.
It can be a great time to kick start your volunteering adventure! You can do a search on google to find out about volunteering activities that are happening during this year’s festival of giving and choose to participate depending upon your interests.
Here’s wishing you good luck with your own volunteering adventure!
Story by Padmapriya N, a freelance content writer. You can check out her other stories and work on her website.