Kids line up to go into Butterfly class

Volunteering: What does it mean?

As today is International Volunteer Day 2015, we decided to ask a couple of our volunteers what volunteering means to them. Join us in celebrating the incredibly important work volunteers do on local, national and international levels.

Michelle Cartier-Archambault: “Everyone has their own reasons to volunteer, but when money is not involved and you’re willing to give your time for free, it’s probably because what you’re doing deeply matters to you. Volunteering teaches you to give without expecting anything in return. At the end of the day, I know it’s all worth it when I see a smile on one of our kid’s faces!”

Jojo: “For me volunteering means being given the opportunity to help make the world a slightly better place. Whether it’s with people, animals, environment, or going door to door to raise money for cancer research, volunteering gives me the chance to do something about matters that are important to me instead of commenting on Facebook and moving on with my life.”

Mark and students

Mark Bucken: “For me it is sharing freely of your time, knowledge and experience with others, and doing so with true sincerity and care, and without judgement.”

Daniel Fetzer: “Volunteering as an intern abroad is to me using my time to do something meaningful. It allows me to get an insight in the culture and the social system of a country. In this case, it’s Peru, and it’s great.”

Rhona volunteering

Rhona Mackay: “Volunteering is a chance to make a difference, hard work, meeting new people, travelling, new opportunities… I think it’s also about wanting to make a change and being willing to work hard to make it happen.”

Richie Dean: “Volunteering can be a highly rich and rewarding experience. Throughout my experiences, I’ve been exposed to so many interesting and amazing people I otherwise would never have had the chance to meet. I’ve gained new skills and experience along with developing valuable insights, but most importantly it has been the chance be involved in meaningful and important projects that work toward the interests of people living in challenging circumstances.”

Tom volunteering Science club

Tom Hornbrook: “When I volunteered in science club, I made an electromagnet with the HOOP kids by wrapping a wire around a screwdriver and attaching a battery. The kids were like ‘whooooooooaw!’ when it suddenly had magnetic powers. Whether you volunteer with kids, or in something completely different, there are always these amazing moments that leave you with a huge sense of accomplishment. So I think everyone who has the chance should try volunteering. You won’t get paid, but you will get rich.”

Johanna and kids

Johanna Öhler: “I always wanted to do something good. For me volunteering means to broaden my horizon and to experience another culture. You can learn so much from volunteering, you meet a lot of people from all over the world. Also, especially at HOOP, I learn a lot from the kids. They are thankful for the little things and it makes me so happy going up to school everyday I see how they love learning English. This has taught me to also be more thankful.”

Photos by Elise Fjordbakk and Thomas Hornbrook

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