On the 16th of July 2018, seventeen young people from different countries were interviewed related to their motivations of being volunteers abroad. These participants are active volunteers in Mladiinfo Slovensko for the project SignForMedia, which is held in Bratislava and Trenčín, Slovakia. The young people are involved in the project so to promote and support the deaf community and its people and their inclusion in sport.
Here are some of the answers, the volunteers gave:
– “ I want to be a volunteer abroad because I want to show the world that not every black person is coming from the ghetto. Black people can also support others, not just receive help.” (Anuli Anochirionye, UK)
– “ By volunteering, I want to give something back to Europe, because Europe gives strong support for us, but also I feel like giving something back because I was quite privileged in my society and I want other people to feel such support and kindness.” (Sophie Felicitas, Germany)
However, we summarized the replies in several categories according to their answers.
1. Meeting new friends. Most of the interviewed young people shared that meeting new people from different countries is one of their main reason of being active volunteers abroad. Erasmus+ provides this kind of opportunities to them and the chance to gather together with other people from different backgrounds and cultures.
2. Gaining new experiences. Volunteering abroad is a great way to enhance your knowledge and to learn and develop new skills. It also teaches young people to work in a team and to produce a final result based on the group’s efforts. Volunteering provides opportunities to learn other languages, to deepen your already developed interests, or to find what you are interested in.
3. Become independent. Through volunteering young people learn how to depend on themselves, to escape from their comfort zones and to see what are their possibilities. Also, they learn to be more responsible and it is a great way to become more disciplined.
4. Active citizens. Volunteering abroad broadens young people mindsets and makes them more socially active. After participating in volunteer work, the youth is more prone to develop their interest in becoming active citizens, to change or support the situation in their societies.
5. Become more open-minded. Being open for experiencing new cultures and be tolerant towards all the differences. Volunteering abroad is a great tool that breaks the stereotypes and allows people to understand and learn from each other.
Volunteering abroad is a great opportunity that all young people should experience and take most of it. If you have already been a volunteer, share your thoughts so more people can learn and become involved in these projects.