Volunteering: Stories of hope and experiences in cultivating good
Jordan's youth dedicating their time to building a better future
International Volunteer Day is a day to celebrate the efforts of people who create a positive change in their communities, and work selflessly to bring about peace and development for the world. With the help of partners and donors, UNICEF provides many volunteer opportunities through its programmes in various governorates in Jordan. As many countries prepare to celebrate the efforts of volunteers around the world, volunteers in Jordan share their experiences with volunteering and talk about its impact on their personal and professional lives.
During the lockdown due to Coronavirus pandemic, Joanna found she had a lot of time in her hands, so she decided to benefit herself and to support her community. First thing she did was look for opportunities to volunteer online. She did not think it was possible and she came across “Nahno” Platform. Nahno platform, supported by UNICEF, provided Joanna with an opportunity to volunteer from home, and to assist members of the community who needed help.
"Volunteering is a human act that gives us a feeling of satisfaction because we contribute to the development of our society. Volunteering comes in various forms, including the simple things that we do in the community on a daily basis, which make a big difference, such as helping someone carry their heavy shopping bags, or cleaning garbage off the street."
Volunteering gave Joanna a better understanding of life, as she learned to look at things from a new angle. "Give volunteering a chance, regardless of the circumstances. Volunteering makes us humble, and helps us make a real impact and be part of the positive change in our society."
Before volunteering, Joanna didn't really realize the community's need for young people's hands, but after volunteering, she saw the community with a different outlook and had a greater passion for its members.
"Just like volunteering helps our communities, it also helps us. Hand in hand, we will lead our societies to a better future."
"I lost everything during the conflict in Syria, I left my belongings and my home and came to Jordan. I was psychologically tired and needed a way to get busy." Anas has suffered from the conflict in Syria, he came to Jordan with nothing in his hands but his degree in mechanical engineering and his hopes for better opportunities in life. Since his arrival, therefore, he has quickly begun to engage in various programmes to meet the needs of his family and children.
Anas found support in UNICEF’s “Maharati” Program, he became an assistant trainer and got involved in the implementation of the program, which helped him hone his skills and be part of the community. As a way to give back to the community, Anas went on to volunteer in different programs that would benefit his community and those around him.
"Volunteering gave me the opportunity to be part of the community and gave me a sense of belonging, so, it became part of my identity. I get a feeling of satisfaction every time I do a job that serves my community and my family."
Anas continued to volunteer during the Corona pandemic: "We have received full support from UNICEF to help us as volunteers transition into the online world to continue our work. I encourage young people to volunteer and help others, because just as volunteering helps others, it also helps us discover skills we didn't know we had, such as communication skills, listening, and interpersonal skills
"Volunteering makes me feel good, and it also gives young people the space to do good for the vulnerable, for free."
Since the launch of Nahno platform, Ammar has participated in it because he considers it a national volunteering platform supported by UNICEF.
"Volunteering is to devote the skills and efforts of young people to serving the community in all its segments. For me, volunteering helped me get to know a lot of young volunteers who want to build a better society and put a smile on the faces of its children."
As a university student, Ammar found, through volunteering, an opportunity to develop his skills, which helped him obtain a job through networking with various programs and organizations, who considered his volunteering hours as an experience they needed to employ.
“Volunteering is a true investment, as it gives me a peace of mind and happiness.”
As a way of learning to take responsibility, Amer resorted to volunteering. For him, volunteering is one of the best ways to show a sense of social responsibility and loyalty to the community, which is "one of the secrets of my success in all aspects of life,” says Amer.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected the whole world, and many have lost their jobs and their situations of living have changed. While everyone was studying/working remotely, some have taken advantage of the online resources to start new projects and businesses or to continue their work and activities. Motivated by responsibility for his community in the face of the challenges of the Coronavirus, Amer volunteered with the National Elak w Feed campaign, a programme aimed at increasing awareness and reducing the spread of COVID-19.
"For me, volunteering is one of the things that bring me happiness in life as it gives me a sense of belonging, and through it, I receive love and encouragement from my community. I encourage young people to volunteer because it's a way to gain the skills and experiences needed to build your professional path.”
Nancy began her volunteering journey in 2005, which helped her hone her skills and pave the way for her to launch her own project. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Nancy had a unique experience with the opportunities she found online and especially through the “Nahno” platform, as it connected her with a lot of other volunteers and it pushed her to start her own volunteering project.
"Volunteering online during the pandemic has helped me overcome the distances and leave my mark everywhere. Volunteering is like planting a seed, and with time, it will grow into something beautiful. For me, because of volunteering I was inspired to start my own project."