Are You Really Making A Difference?

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

What is the correlation between duration of stay and amount of difference made? Does it mean the longer I stay, the more change I see? Would I make any difference at all if I stay for only 2 weeks?

One of the greatest things about living in the volunteer house for an extended period of time is the chance to meet volunteers from across the globe. I’ve had the privilege of meeting volunteers from the US, Australia and Denmark to name a few. Some stayed for months while others were here for 2 weeks. Despite the difference in time period, we all had one question in mind. Are we making a difference in our projects?

Whenever the volunteers gathered, we talked about the progress we were making. We each had different experiences simply because we were in different projects. Some worked in kindergartens and orphanages while others worked in health clinics and soup kitchens. We came with expectations, some of them met, some not and others exceeded.

Personally, I believe that one should set goals before thinking of volunteering. Sure it’s only natural to have expectations for yourself and for the projects you undertake. But I’m almost 95% sure that the majority of those goals would change week by week. You never know exactly what to expect until you get to the volunteering site. Furthermore, many of us volunteers could only speak basic Spanish and some couldn’t even speak Spanish at all. We each had different struggles and when we shared them, we realized we all had the same question in mind.

A fellow volunteer from Australia faced a lot of difficulty communicating with the teachers in the kindergarten and felt rather exasperated at some points. A volunteer from Israel didn’t feel like she was doing enough with the kids she was volunteering with. A communications volunteer felt she was not being resourceful enough without having sufficient equipment to execute tasks.

It is normal to experience negative emotions. We always expect to see change immediately but if we’re being completely honest, visible change never happens in a day or two. It’s a long term process but what we fail to realize is that the effects are immediate. You make an impact on the people you work with. By just being there, you leave a lasting impression. In that one day, you’ve perhaps made the tasks easier for others.

People will forget what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel” 

The answer is yes. You are. You are making a difference. You could be there for a day, a week or even a month and the answer will always be a ‘yes’ as long as you’re there with the intention of helping. Be a volunteer and be a part of that difference.  

Read 10351 times

Related items

Four-week Language Immersion Study Trip to England

This is an opportunity to maximize your English language skills by means of an immersion study trip.

Centro Cultural Kirchner: The CCK, the largest cultural centre in Latin America

The Centro Cultural Kirchner (CCK) is a cultural centre located in the San Nicolas neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the largest cultural centre in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world.

Curas Villeros: the Social Leaders inside the villas of Argentina

Many of Voluntario Global’s projects are in the villas —deprived neighborhoods in the outskirts of Buenos Aires— and inside them the social and political activism is completely merged with religion.

Community and Religion, a Close Relationship in Argentine Neighborhoods

In Argentina the interaction between political activism and religiousness has an interesting exchange. Inside the villas, many people gather to discuss what’s happening in their community and they do it in a specific place that could be surprising from someone outside the country: churches. 

Volunteer Ambassador Ryan Long

Born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, I worked for a software start up in Los Angeles and recently moved back to the MidWest to be closer to family and friends.

Q&As with USA University Exchange Students: Argentina’s Culture

A number of Voluntario Global´s volunteers often are college exchange students, organised with The Ortega and Gasset Argentina foundation.

Volunteering: A Cultural Exchange

A number of Voluntario Global´s volunteers often are college exchange students, organised with The Ortega and Gasset Argentina foundation.

Q&A with Volunteer Cole Sterr: Soup Kitchen Insight

The communications team visited Cole while he was working, and had the chance to ask him a few questions about his experience.

Login to post comments


Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.


Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

© Copyright 2016 luppino.com.ar