volunteering

August 19, 2012

We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles, rather than by the quality of our service relationship to humanity.

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

 

 

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Get You and Your Native Tongue to Sudan and Everything Shall Be Provided for Free

It is impossible to prepare for the enthusiasm, the commitment, the warmth, the surprises that teaching in Sudan will give you

– Angela Bamgbose, a social worker in MentalHealth

Today, Fuzeus will like to introduce a great volunteer opportunity that is actually provided for free.

Sudan Volunteer Programme, a UK based charity, was first launched in 1997 when ten volunteers went to Sudan for a seven week programme to teach in schools and colleges in Khartoum and Omdurman area. After 15 years of working, SVP has established links with universities all around Sudan and has had hundreds of volunteers fly out to Sudan and help thousands of Sudanese improve their understanding of English language.

SVP’s goal is to teach English to Sudanese people at various levels, mostly focusing on conversational practice and discussion groups with university students and other adults and also some secondary school students. According to the SVP website, although most Sudanese people take English classes for about 8 years, they have never had an experience of conversing with native speakers.

This is your chance to help out young people in Sudan get a better and unique education. As a matter of fact, good education is what Sudan needs right now in the time of war, which it has been at with itself for almost its entire post-colonial history. English is the second official language of Sudan and a vital component of the on-going peace process. This is not to say that education will be an immediate solution to all the unresolved problems but it will at least be a long-term remedy. Education has the power to change everything. Now continue reading to find more about this amazing program.

1. What will I be doing?

As I mentioned before, your job will be to help Sudanese develop the skills of speaking or even reading or writing in English. You will be in charge of teaching a class, which will include motivating people to express themselves by overcoming their shyness and reluctance to make mistakes. You will be working at a Sudanese university, which aims to organize two semesters of academic program.

2. Any Requirements?

It would be ideal to have some teaching experience before you join but this cannot be the case for most volunteers. Don’t worry. As long as you are either a naïve whose first language is English and studied at a university or similar institutions or a non-native English speaker who has an established qualifications, SVP will train you before the semester starts.

3. Is it really FREE?

Volunteers must pay the price of their own airfare to and from Sudan. Plus, if you do not have the complete insurance cover for your stay, SVP will provide you the insurance with about $100. However, except for the plane tickets and insurance, everything will be covered by the host institutions. SVP will arrange your accommodation and also pay 500 Sudanese pounds for the basic needs.

4. Will it be safe?

Considering the protests and wars that are going on in between Middle East crisis, violence in Darfar, and Arab spring, you may be concerned about the security this program can guarantee. Fortunately,   you will be working in the northern parts where people are the most friendly, most hospitable and the safest. Also, no one in Sudan will judge you by the places that you come from. If you are still concerned, SVP can connect you to one of the current volunteers in Sudan to confirm their point.

If you want to hear what it’s like from a past volunteer, read this review of the NGO, Sudan Volunteer Programme, a great article by a blogger, Petewiggins.

Now I have provided the basic information about this program. But I know this cannot satisfy you. If you would like to find out more this program and apply, please visit  http://www.svp-uk.com/

The Olympics and the Potential Game Makers Around the Globe

Olympic Games are just around the corner and London is congested by herds of people coming from all over the world. While everyone is getting excited for the spectacular opening ceremony tomorrow, 70,000 secret agents are quietly working behind the scene, busily triple-checking every little details of the event. Starting tomorrow, London 2012 volunteers, the Game Makers—a great title which these people fully deserve—will be at all venues to answer people’s questions.

Now, do not underestimate these Game Makers. Over 240,000 applicants have applied since September 2010 and more than 100,000 people were interviewed for the spot. After the thorough qualification check, they went through at least three training sessions to complete their knowledge for their roles. People’s eagerness to volunteer is pleasantly astounding and yet understandable. Indeed, it is an invaluable opportunity to gain experience, meet diverse people and be a part of the largest sporting event. Slowly but effectively, the Olympics have changed people’s idea of volunteering or at least, it got people interested in volunteering. Just like the companies that benefit by fanatically advertising their products during the Olympics, volunteering is gaining popularity.

Jeam Tomlin, who is in the games organizing committee, elaborates about this in his article, Can the Olympic experience help change the face of volunteering?, and explains further why this years’ volunteers, in particular, are making this phenomenon possible.

Read it and share your thoughts with us. Do you agree that volunteering has become more attractive or at least interesting? Or is this merely a short-lived Olympics effect?

Host a TEDx event at your high school!

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearing house that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspire thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

Millions have watched them and thousands have paid to attend them. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, has been sensationally successful ever since it first launched in 1984. If you have not heard about it yet, TED is an invite-only affair that brings together the most inspirational and smartest minds from around the globe to share new ideas and old wisdom with the attendees. These talks are made available online and even as podcast so that anyone can watch and share his or her thoughts. By doing so, TED made it easier for people to access speeches of innovative thinkers who can provide them with a new viewpoint or give them an insight into many different areas.

But if you look around and care to observe, you will find that these innovative thinkers on TED are in fact, everywhere. People who excel in their profession are the potential TED speakers who have ideas worth spreading.

This is why in 2009, TED decided to launch a program called TEDx, the local, self-organized events that can bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TED website now posts great videos from TEDx events as well. Commonly, TEDx would be hosted by cities or universities such as TEDxTokyo or TEDxStanford. But recently, there has been an attempt by few high school students who convened the event at their own high school.  (Gunn High School to Hold First ‘TEDx’ event)

It is your turn to host TEDx at your high school.

Here are some general steps that you should take. This is just to give you an idea of what kind of work you would be doing. So for more information, please visit, TEDx website: http://www.ted.com/pages/organize_tedx_event

1) Find a supervisor: In order to host TEDx, you need to first get a license and in order to do so, organizers under age 18 must be supervised by an adult.

2) Find a group of friend or volunteers to organize the event

3) Start making a list of speakers that you would like to invite: Inviting speakers may take longer than you imagine. Be patient and reasonable. Sometimes the most inspiring people are in-fact our peers, and people who are in your own age group. Don’t forget to invite them as well.

4) Create Logo, select a venue, set a stage and create a program

5) Utilize Social Media

6) Find someone to record the event

Hosting an event is not an easy job. But it will be a priceless experience that you cannot easily gain as a high school student and an event like this will benefit your peers and school as well.

67 Minutes Matter More Than You Know

Nelson Mandela was an influential leader during the rule of Apartheid. He helped liberate South Africa and was the first Black president, changing the absolute rule to a democratic one. He faced many hardships along his journey, including several incarcerations. Through those hardships, he persevered and shaped the lives of the South Africans today.

In 2009 the UN General Assembly declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day where people devote themselves to helping others for 67 minutes. The purpose of this day was to commemorate the 67 years that Nelson Mandela spent devoting his time to help liberate those who were facing oppression. By taking part in the 67 minutes of service, you would be able to help others who are being oppressed today, whether they are poor or abused. Taking part on this day would allow people to come together and make a difference, just like Nelson Mandela and all of his followers did in South Africa.

This day allowed people to come together with a common goal to help impact the lives of the abused and the poor. Even if you live miles away from someone else, you would still have the same goal as that person. You both would want to help others become somebody and live for themselves with no worries. That is exactly what Nelson Mandela did. He gathered people together with a common goal to free others, like them, who were being oppressed by Apartheid. He even opened a law firm that served the black people because none of the others, which were run by the white people, would help them. 67 Minutes

Completing one hour of community service would make a big impact on people’s lives. It is also very easy to complete. Completing one hour of service is like completing a one hour TV show; it goes by quickly and you can get a lot done within that hour. Just like the TV show, volunteering can keep you at the edge of your seat and satisfy you, making you feel relieved and confident. Sometimes it can leave you guessing, like a TV show sometimes does. You might want to know if the people you are serving are doing okay or not. Volunteering can leave you satisfied and make you feel like you actually got something done. Along with that, you would be making a huge difference, even though it might not seem like that much. One hour of service can make the people you serve feel good about themselves, look at themselves in a different way, and feel like they have actually learned something valuable that they can continue to use throughout their life. In conclusion, serving others for at least 67 minutes would help impact the lives of others as well as commemorate the 67 years that Nelson Mandela spent helping those in need.

Successful examples of skills-based volunteering–Deloitte

Successful examples of skills-based volunteering–Deloitte

In the previous article, “If you are here to help…grab a shovel?” we talked about the concept of skills-based volunteering and how it can benefit volunteers. To reiterate, skills-based volunteering utilizes individual’s specialized kills and talents to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions. Now, we will introduce companies that have successfully implemented this system and the first company on the list is Deloitte–one of the Big Four professional services firms that helps clients with issues such as auditing, consulting, financial advisory, and tax.

But before we go in depth about Deloitte’s work, let us briefly discuss about the campaign that enabled many companies to join skills-based volunteering–A Billion + Change. A Billion + change is a national campaign that aims to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based service by 2013. Companies can join to pledge to contribute their skill sets, filling critical gaps in community needs in areas including, but not limited to, financial and legal services, educational and environmental initiatives and programs for veterans ad senior citizens. Currently, the campaign combines companies’ pledge to reach its goal of mobilizing $2 billion to support community organizations. It was first launched in 2008 by the Corporation for National and Community Service and was invigorated in 2011 under the leadership of Senator Mark Warner. The initiative is supported by HP, the Case Foundation, IBM, and of course, Deloitte.

(Here is a complete list of pledged companies up to date:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/61428762/Website/Pledge%20Companies_EXTERNAL_7_2.pdf)

As a very active member of this campaign, Deloitte has been greatly contributing to the society with its skills-based volunteering.

“While so many nonprofits have sophisticated social missions and programs, they often struggle with the same business challenges as for-profit companies. We believe that the most valuable resource we can contribute to nonprofits is the one we offer our clients everyday—our intellectual capital and business knowledge. Helping nonprofits to become stronger organizations is the most lasting contribution we can make to our local communities.”

– Barry Salzberg, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte LLP

A snapshot of Deloitte’s skills-based volunteer program composes of following: year-round volunteerism/IMPACT Day, Pro Bono, Board Leadership, Thought Leadership and Problem Solvers Fund. The core project within the program is pro bono work, which has long been a fixture on the Deloitte’s community involvement landscape and is now a key driver of its community involvement strategy. On June 1, 2008, Deloitte launched a pro bono program that provided the resources and infrastructure necessary to support up to $50 million in cross-functional pro bono engagements. Thus pro bono service became a part of the business units’ annual planning and budgeting process, allowing Deloitte to distribute its workforce more efficiently. Compared to the past when the service was only provided on an ad hoc basis, Deloitte became more strategic in project selection. At the same time, Deloitte is also providing the board leadership, the most valuable assets the business community can offer, and problem solvers fund, which provides large-scale grants to support local community initiatives where Deloitte employees are engaged in capacity building, pro bono and other skills-based volunteer projects.

Due to its constant effort to give back to the world, in 2011, United Way Worldwide–a coalition of charitable organizations in the Unite States– honored Deloitte with two Summit awards for volunteer engagement and community impact in education. Deloitte was especially recognized for its dedication to increasing high school graduation rate and advocating college-going culture in America by contributing its employee’s professional skills and knowledge to serve nonprofits through skills-based volunteering and pro-bono work. The Spirit of America and Summit Awards program is United Way’s highest national honor of corporate citizenship, recognizing United Way Global Corporate Leaders with the most comprehensive commitments to strengthening communities. Applicants are evaluated by corporate peers and local United Ways.

“We’re grateful for Deloitte’s continued leadership and longstanding support. They’ve been instrumental in driving progress in education, corporate philanthropy and volunteer engagement,” said Brian Gallagher, United Worldwide president and CEO. “The organization’s strong culture of service, innovative thinking, and unwavering commitment to strengthening communities is making a real impact.”

After years of perfecting its strategy, Deloitte finally has an efficient and highly successful volunteering plan. Deloitte is now promoting other companies to do the same as well. Here is a video of the interview with Evan Hochberg, the national director of community involvement at Deloitte, at the 6th Annual Edelman Change and Employee Engagement Summit.