Volunteering: An answer to youth unemployment
I must commend the government for creating a societal environment that allows individualistic and communal independence of expression. After International Youth Day, it is important to emphasize the positive and unique contribution our youth make in their respective societies of origin.
Many young people work hard to earn a living and improve their circumstances but I want to draw special attention to those who make helping others the centre of their worlds, – volunteers. Whilst volunteering is a seen as a selfless act, a reward in itself, the volunteers are receiving more rewards for their humanitarian gestures than just a feel good sensation. With structured volunteering, the act of volunteering presents a real avenue for full-time employment.
There are various organizations that are skilled at placing volunteers in positions where they help others and themselves at the same time. One such organization that has been paramount in the pursuit of investing in human resources is the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS).
The National Society promotes ownership, a sense of belonging and empowerment amongst its volunteers and members. Many community members started volunteering at the Red Cross and placed in a position where they can gain non-financial benefits and help humanity at the same time.
The act of volunteering is a self-validating experience that boosts volunteers’ confidence and self-esteem. This occurs because of the satisfaction individuals get from helping others and also the realization that they could make a difference in society or in people’s lives without being in paid.
With the demand from many employers that they are looking for people with experience, there is no denying that volunteering plays a significant role in bridging the gap between theory and real-life work.
High unemployment is often associated with lack of skills or capacity. This poses a considerable hurdle to those looking for a job. But it not only applies to unskilled people, even the youth that are fresh graduates from high institutions, jump head first into employment. This in turn slows down economic growth, but have we considered the fact that volunteering as an aid could actually be a solution and contribute to youth development in terms of employment?
I believe volunteering for service to humanity is also an opportunity for those that are part of the labour force. Taking time off for volunteering creates many new opportunities, helping create more employment in the end.
Many individuals seem to be motivated by the desire for gain in everything they do, but I believe volunteering could actually be an alternative for unemployment in Namibia. Being a third world and a developing country which is economically disadvantaged in most areas, and also being sensitive to the fact that the needs and wants of society are unlimited but the resources are limited, helping out humanity as part of volunteering is actually creating an opportunity for those that are unemployed to gain skills in areas they wish to.
Playing a role of a humanitarian is something that many people don’t consider, but those that have decided to do it have actually gained a lot in return. Helping out another person does not mean it is only the recipient that benefits. Volunteering helps create a better society free from the social issues that are caused by unemployment. If the youth are engaged as volunteers, chances of them getting involved in crimes because they are unemployed, would decrease.
Employment is a demand. If, however, people start with volunteering in different organizations this demand will decrease and lead to better services provided by volunteers to the community. Volunteers teach people skills, all of which contribute to improve their ability to find a job.