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Volunteering for a better tomorrow

Volunteering for a better tomorrow

By Solomon Beyene 09-07-18

As different author’s point of view, voluntary work refers to activities performed willingly and without pay to produce goods or provide services for others outside the volunteer’s household or family. Volunteer work plays pivotal role in countries, contributing to production and economic output, particularly in the non-profit sector, and also to community development, social cohesion and civic participation.

As a free of pay service, one of the positive aspects of volunteering is to gain a sense of satisfaction. It will be accompanied by the importance of developing the country's economy by rescuing governments with high resources. According to Wikipedia, Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial or social gain "to benefit another person, group or organization".

It is to be recalled that, at a discussion with outstanding graduates, Prime minster Dr, Abiy Ahmed underlined about the essence of voluntarism. He stressed that it is their time to repay for the society that paid every sacrifice upon their success.

The Premier, weeks after his disclosure of a scheme of voluntary service for the summer, officially declared the campaign participating himself in rehabilitation of an elderly women’s house.

He has been calling on especially university graduates, secondary and preparatory students, youths, and members of the community to participate actively by giving volunteer service. A massive number of volunteers and institutions replied to the call, taking part in rehabilitation, blood donation, educational material supply and the likes.

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Prior to the voluntary service relying on New Year, a cross national voluntary service has been held. The scheme played vital role to share cultural and ethnic diversities one on another, boosting cross ethnicity and cultural exchange.

Apart from their involvement in services like environmental protection, plantation, street hygiene, caring elders, caring Orphans, caring homeless, elder’s home renovation work, blood donation and many other, they lauded that the journey helped to understand the community’s background at large.

A unanimous member of the group lauded that his stay in the service helped to change his prior stereotypic negative attitude to the community. “I was reluctant to go to that area, I had a concern to my well being. People were talking a cramp of lie about that particular community towards to my ethnic group. However, I sooner realized how the community is kind to new comers and I regretted for carrying such stereotypic thought against them.”   

Many others also lauded that such misunderstandings among each other arose due to lack of deep understanding of each other, and the solution is strengthen community ties like cross boundary voluntarism.

As a country suffering with multiple social and economic crises, problems need to be tackled in a collaborative effort. The government can’t solve each and every problem encountered. And that is why Voluntarism is a must do solution for the nation. Holding hand to hand, at least, we can contribute a little to address the deepened social and economic problems.

The voluntary service is criticized for being only limited to urban areas. The service should be expanded to all regions and city administration and by far to zone, woreda, and kebele level. There, the peasants need to be addressed with sanitation, literacy, agricultural services and health extension services. This year’s cross regional voluntary service might be taken as a starting point for the services expansion.

We have witnessed so far that keeping the momentum is our challenge as a nation. The community, the media, the government all focus to a campaign and no one asks about its progress soon. This habit is growing from time to time, and by far lead to lack of trust from the community on consistency of campaigns.

We have a plenty of areas to take part voluntarily. Rehabilitation of elderly residences is one. Following the Premier’s participation in rehabilitation of Emahoye Adugna,s home, the youth and the Diaspora members are thoroughly engaging in the area. As good news, currently governmental institutions are also taking part in the sector by mobilizing their employees. We could imagine how a massive contribution it would be if each institution rehabilitate a single hut!

Blood donation is also another area, which can participate every single healthy citizen. In a country where traffic accident is reported daily, and where doctors sadly inform the media daily how they face a challenge to find blood, blood donation is the number one voluntarism. Blood donation as it is always said“ is the best gift of gifts.” The initiative taken by the Prime Minister and other senior officials to donate blood has motivated the community at large. We all witnessed groups such as athletes, football club supporters, institutional employees and university students donating blood as a mass.  

Street cleaning and sanitation and hygiene awareness creation is also another area to take part too. The campaign by the late Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to clean our areas every last Friday of the month was a must remember initiative. Hygiene and sanitation is an exigent situation for us. Late alone the slum areas, our streets and villages do not match to a capital of the continent and seat of international organizations.

Voluntarism is one of the components of the synergy. Unpaid volunteers are often the glue that holds a community together. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. However, volunteering is a two-way street, and it can benefit you and your family as much as the cause you choose to help. Dedicating your time as a volunteer helps you make new friends, expand your network, and boost your social skills.

Generally, in this, winter according to the information we found from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, 13.6 million young university graduates, higher and secondary school students have been participating in voluntary works. The mass media, every level of communicators, activists, artists, authors, and other stakeholders should play their own role to broaden the scope of these good services, and make it accessible to the public. On the other hand, in addition to providing volunteer service, the young one should play their own role to ensuring that the change in the current situation in Ethiopia has continued. Besides, the aforementioned parties need to play a pivotal role if we need the deed be enjoyed consistently and persistently.



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