Have you ever seen an Iceberg? An iceberg is not just what is visible. It’s only a smaller section above the waterline and a larger invisible section lies below the waterline. There’s a lot stronger and a huge part which is invisible and least concerned and unattended.
Have you heard of “Volunteerism”? If not get your phone and google. Google would say you that it is “The use of involvement of volunteer labor, especially in community services”. Well , the word “volunteerism” has been derived from the original term “voluntarism “which is the policy or practice of volunteering one’s time or talents for charitable, educational or other worthwhile activities , specially in one’s community.
Volunteering is more compatible to an iceberg. It looks simple from what’s visible and a way deeper task which is invisible. In simple words, if you are someone who practice providing your time, skills for the benefit of other people and causes, rather than for financial benefit, you can call yourself a Volunteer. Are you a “volunteer”? What does “volunteering” give you? Volunteering increases self-confidence. By volunteering you are doing well for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role of being a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.
Tom Brokaw, a famous scholar has once said that, “It’s easy to make a buck, it’s a lot tougher to make a difference”. We, the Rotaract club of SLIIT, Community Service team, always intend to make a difference for a better tomorrow. Our very own project “LIGHT UP THEIR WORLD” is the best example of our effort to make a change through volunteerism. In our project we voluntarily teach the little kids at Morawinna Balika Child development and probation center with the hope of lighting up their worlds. There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. To guide our very own volunteers to be mirrors rather than candles, A “Mentor Session” was organized and conducted under the guidance of our beloved counsellor from Shanthi Marghum institute, Ms.Theja Jayasinghe on 13th Friday of March at the SPARR Coffee area, Malabe.
The purpose of the session was to help new volunteers get aware of the value of volunteering and also to help them become mentors. A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser, who advise or train someone specially a younger colleague. Getting the chance of knowing yourself before helping another to know themselves is a rare opportunity. Thanks to our counselor, Ms.Theja, our Light up buddies were fortunate enough to be benefited.
What is the essence of life? It is to do good and to serve others, as to great philosopher, Aristotle. During the mentor session, it was revealed that taking the decision to volunteer itself isn’t easy at all. And after taking the decision, it takes a lot of effort and courage to prepare one’s self as a volunteer. The fact that volunteers are not paid is not because they are worthless, but because they and their service is priceless became a fact. Also volunteering is so pervasive and it’s invisible. We take for granted all the things that have been pioneered by concerned, active volunteers. So, we should be fair and just to ourselves, the community as well as our reputed volunteers.
Other than about the role and the worth of being a volunteer, the session was focused on developing mentor skills at our project “Light up their world”. Since we communicate and cooperate with children, it is a must to know about child rights and facts involved with child development. At the “Mentor session” a proper guidance was given about child rights, things to be concerned when handling them, Skills essential for fruitful mentoring and also ways of reaching out the kids in a healthier and a psychological perspective.
It was just a chilling gathering rather than a formal counselling session. The evening was full of both giggles and also with tears wetting eyes. Our counsellor was able to talk to the hearts of our volunteers. At the end of the session we realized that to ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own. We all com e to this world for a purpose, and to service others is the rent we pay for our room here on Earth. The evening was lit and at the end of the session all the hearts that were gathered were too lit with happiness plus a sense of self pride. Research has shown that people who volunteer often live longer.
Cherishing another memorable moment of our journey, “Light Up their World 2.0 ” we successfully concluded the “Mentor session”, organized for our precious volunteers. We said good bye to the night, remembering that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more….
Written by –
Rtr. Sakuni Galappaththi,