By Kwame Sarpong (Kwame interned for RIJ for two months from 2011-2012)
STUDENT LIFE AND TIME
As students we could use our time to study, do part-time jobs, engage in recreational activities, relationships, etc.
WHY THEN ARE WE INTO VOLUNTEERISM?
Because “People are the real wealth of the nation” UNDP Report (1990)
- Volunteerism is a basic expression of human relationships: participate in the society and to feel that you matter to others.
- The ethos (moral attitude) of volunteerism is infused with values including solidarity, reciprocity, mutual trust, belonging and empowerment all of which contribute to the quality of life.
- Volunteerism contributes to peace and development: To eliminate poverty, improve basic health and education, provide amenities such as good drinking water, reduce the risk of disaster, combat social exclusion and violent conflict.
- It’s the backbone of many NGO and governmental organizations.
WHY REFUGEES INTERNATIONAL JAPAN (RIJ)?
- You are agents of development and as emphasized in the first UN State of the World’s Volunteerism Report: “volunteerism is a means by which people can take control of their lives and make a difference to themselves and to those around them”.
- Prestige in helping others.
- To add to your CV.
- Establish network for the future: (a) among students (b) RIJ faithfuls including staff, donors, ambassadors, etc.
- Acquire skills: Through RIJ activities, you will acquire management skills, interpersonal relationships (tolerance and co-operation), become a team player, etc.
- Opportunity to learn new skills, learn more about refugee related issues, and increase your self-confidence and professionalism.
- You could explore a career option in the world of non-profit.
WHAT IMPACT CAN I MAKE?
Put smiles on the face of refugees or IDPs and empower them through…
- Sharing information about refugees and displaced issues with others.
- Raising funds through your student organization to assist those in need.
- Volunteering in RIJ activities such as Tree of Hope event.
- Promoting RIJ activities (refugee issues) in schools, colleges and universities.
- Reducing the multiple consequences and ripple effects associated with IDP and refugees.