Volunteering? A life-changing experience? Really? You sure ah?

 

Yes. The list of questions above reflects my perception of volunteering before my life-changing encounter with Small Changes. If you were to approach me two years ago and went ‘Hey Zaki, do you want to get some volunteer experience?’, I would’ve scoffed and said no.

It is pretty obvious from this article that I have ‘betrayed’ my old self. You are also probably wondering how exactly did I end up volunteering with Small Changes. So, allow me the honour of sharing with you my journey. 

I decided to try volunteering not because I wanted an eye-opening experience that would transform me into a passionate volunteer; I merely wanted to gain new experience. 

 

My first volunteering experience was the Seeds of Deeds exalted camp at Hulu Langat, Selangor. The SOD camp aims to tackle education inequity by empowering underprivileged youths. I did not expect to fall in love with volunteering, but from meeting new people who were supportive of each other to daring my introverted self to speak in front of a crowd, the camp kept flirting with me! 

The camp also made me realise how significant my role could be. I was in charge of the communication and listening modules at the camp. For the communication module, the campers had to make a vlog talking about certain issues. I was there to provide guidance to the campers. Even though some campers required a more elaborate explanation, never once did I find them annoying. Looking at it in retrospect, I appreciate the patience they elicited in me; the patience learned there extended far beyond the end of the camp! 

Watching the children coming up with content and filming the video with confidence and courage filled my heart with indescribable joy. On one hand, I felt satisfied seeing how my modules materialised perfectly; on the other hand, I felt like a proud parent watching my children growing up! Interestingly, while you might say that my work had inspired the children to step out of their comfort zone, I would like to think of it as them inspiring me more than I did to them. 

 

I think it is safe to say that this volunteering experience was very impactful, considering the fact that I joined the second SOD camp in Johor the same year 

If you have not experienced volunteering before, I urge you to give it a chance because it is a truly rewarding experience to discover a new part of yourself, or maybe the missing puzzle piece to your life. I know I have found mine, and maybe it is now time for you to discover yours. 😉

 

Zaki, volunteer.