What is Volunteering?
Volunteering actually means that you offer your services to someone, without accepting any wages or any other form of being paid or rewarded in return for those services. In easy words, working for free is known as volunteering. It is doing something at your own will (meaning that nobody forces you do act upon it). Mostly religious people opt for it, but this is wrong; people who don’t have a religious view of life, also head for volunteering.
It is said for volunteers that; “Volunteers don’t necessarily have time; they just have a heart.”
The society of Pakistan needs the spirit of volunteering a lot as it rises the sense of goodness and the person who volunteers feels happy by giving something to his/her community. At one point, where we give Zakat, sadqa and khairat openly, we don’t have the heart and time to volunteer for anything. We do not prefer wasting our energy and time in anything, which won’t reward us with something and this is the fact of human thinking.
Volunteering demands time and energy along with great effort. It asks for personal commitment which becomes difficult than actually giving money (which is easier; you give money and you get over the story).
While donating money is relatively easy, it is the gist of time and the self that is most precious and rewarding.Uzma Ahmed Khan very beautifully, indulges volunteering in a piece of quotation;
The Earthquake of 2005:
The earthquake that Pakistan faced in 2005, reflected the voluntary efforts and hearts of the people of Pakistan. It is very sad to ask that do we need such a big disaster to awaken the apathy of our hearts. Are we really lazy or we demand for something to move us completely, so that we come in action? The more likely reason to such behavior of ours, can be lack of awareness! The lack of awareness in terms of how, why and where to volunteer? We hardly get someone to answer these questions for us, because nobody thinks deeply about volunteering. Where our newspapers are filled with the reminders of Zakat during Ramadan, we have nothing that ever reminds us about volunteering for an NGO or any other organization. The question here arises that why doesn’t anybody ask us to come and donate our time, energy and efforts in the form of volunteering? Maybe because nobody understands the scope of volunteering and the effect that it can put on us and our personalities.
Do Pakistani People believe in Volunteering?
Let’s face it, majority of Pakistani people don’t stand up for volunteering! We are enlisted third as the philanthropic people of the world. Many people would find this disgusting but it is true! Pakistani people take it as harm to their culture and “built in their own thoughts” respect, to opt for something that goes out of their self-created circle! Especially adults find it a matter of “going against the set-up rules” and turn it into a question of respect or death! The brighter side is that a great part of our majority has grown out of the old ideas and thoughts, but the sadder phase of this is that still a large and innumerable amount of people are stuck somewhere in the past days!
Volunteering should be encouraged in every country and should be inculcated in the youth of every nation. NGO’s in Pakistan, appreciate people who volunteer with them and likewise many schools and educating institutions have set up side activities which include voluntary deeds. This is a good, developing factor for all the people who participate in it since it enhances a feeling of acting upon good deeds and makes a better us from our personality.
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed volunteering in a statement as:
“Volunteerism is a source of community strength, resilience, solidarity and social cohesion. It can bring positive, social change by fostering respect for diversity, equality and participation of all. It is among society’s most vital assets.”
According to the UN Secretary General, the Pakistani nation and especially youth should participate in such deeds in order to give something back to their society and the people residing in it; it is a very warm feeling to do so! Indeed it is!
Examples of Trending Volunteerism in Pakistan:
Firstly, the education organizations are playing an essential role in order to develop volunteerism in the nation and enhance it to a larger level. Several schools, colleges and universities are now on with the concept of stressing upon the importance of volunteering and why is it essential for a society? Moreover, they are trying to instruct the youth and upcoming generation about how volunteering is good for us and our nation and why is it vital. They are encouraging the students to offer their time and efforts to people who need them without the thought of being rewarded; since everything you do, doesn’t necessarily require a payback.
Moreover, many student societies are formed which run charity drives and several other events so that funds can be collected. These funds are aided for different causes. A bug example is that many organizations and schools etc., raise aids for Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital which is a cancer hospital where thousands of peopleare treated per day.
Pakistan’s volunteering efforts have been highly seen during the floods of 2005 and 2011. Endless students and adults volunteered for helping and set up various campaigns in this context as well.
The Chanan Development Association in Pakistan, runs some events every year which are implemented by volunteers along with the help of CDA team. Likewise, the Pakistan Association for Difficulties in Learning, demands for volunteers every summer, for running various programs for some fixed time duration. Moreover, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Pakistan offers 2 volunteering programs during summers. There aren’t any age restrictions and the volunteering programs are actually about trending the awareness of environment and means to protect it.
When it comes to conclude that where is the concept of volunteering actually going to, in Pakistan, it is hard to decide. Pakistan is filled with millions of people with different thoughts, cultures and ways of living. Where majority doesn’t even think about volunteering and states it as wastage of time, the other way, several people believe in this good deed concept highly.
What can we say about it? What is the scope of volunteering in Pakistan? Where is it trending to? It might be right to say that Pakistan is on its way to volunteerism. How can we conclude that? This is because the upcoming generation is being taught about it. Many schools and universities are indulging students in extra curriculum activities which require volunteering. So, we can definitely hope for the scope of volunteering to grow and enhance in Pakistan widely. It is certainly going to take some time, but hope is the best way for everything and that is what keeps the human life going on. However, as our youth is beginning to get into volunteering, we are hoping that volunteerism will trend up and up in our nation and society as a positive and vibrant activity.