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Nepal will soon have its first National Volunteering Award. The Award, organized by a consortium of international organizations including United Nation Volunteers (UNV), VSO, PeaceCorps, Australian Volunteers, CECI/Uniterra and Koica will be presented on the 5th of December, the International Volunteering Day, during a conference about volunteerism and Sustainable Development Goals.

We have here a great initiative to promote and recognize a culture of service in the country but also a good way to celebrate cross groups and cross sectors partnerships.

Some clarification, what is Volunteerism? Volunteering implies supporting and helping a person in need or be involved for a certain cause without expecting anything in return. It is based on generosity and altruism, all underpinned by a personal kindness and a strong sense of purpose.

By default, volunteering implies collaboration and cooperation, even in their simplest, more spontaneous and natural forms, including those at the foundations of the rapport between a beneficiary and the volunteer.

I would like here suggest some forms of volunteering here all based on collaborations. However, consider that there are thousands ways and all unique in their shapes based on the local needs and circumstances.

Joining the Parents Association or School Management Committee at your children school: Many of you might have already taken the intrepid step of getting involved in the school where your children study. This is a real “win win” as you come to know more about the teachers of your children and you end up understanding better the context in which schools operates in the country. You can personally offer novel ideas on how to improve the quality of the school or maybe you can lead by example with the organization of some extracurricular activities based on your interest and passion.

If you are younger, then join the Alumni Association: I have several friends who are quite involved in the activities of their alumni associations. This is another great way to give back to the school where you studied. It is not only about running fundraising or get involved in the organization of annual gatherings but here, you could do much more by linking some NGOs with the school or by involving some youth clubs for some meaningful but fun activities.

Become a mentor or look for a mentor: You do not necessarily need to have a specific area of expertise but just commitment and reliability and all the best intentions. Of course it is not a joke to design a mentoring program but you can get in touch with a youth organization and start a brainstorming as you will find a lot of resources on mentoring on line. If instead you are a leader in a youth organization, then you can look for retirees living in your area or you can approach some business houses to organize a corporate mentoring program.

Be active in your neighborhood association: no matter where you live, in a town or in a rural area, or if you are young or an adult, you can simply contribute to make your ward or area a better, safer place. If there is no any loose structure in place, then you can take the lead and form one. You need just a bit of commitment and be able to engage even a small group of friends and slowly more participants will join.

Homework support: You can give some hours of your free time to help a child in your area in her homework. Maybe you do not even need to be too formal and rigid with the timing but simply be available whenever there is a need.

These are just few examples of service. Do not forget you can do it on your own, in a group or with an established organization. It is really up to you.

You can be a person with disability or belonging to a disadvantaged group that, fed up with being at the ‘receiving hands”, decide to do some good. Everybody can serve and help!

This year celebration of International Volunteering Day with the Award finally offers an incredible opportunity to celebrate volunteers around the nation and their efforts to build better communities. This can be done only if we work together.

Helping someone in need implies that, one day, you also might be in need of help but also helping others might help yourself at life.

Giving, according to Adam Grant, bestseller writer of “Give and Take” is a revolutionary approach to success. It means that helping others will directly and positively impact on your career. Moreover it helps build new relationships and know other people, expanding your circle.

Volunteering, then, makes a lot of sense. Let’s plan our daily lives a bit differently and review our priorities. Happy International Day of Volunteers 2016Hi

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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