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Factors That Lead To Failure Of Volunteer Work

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In our last post, we talked about importance of volunteer training. Today, here's something different.

A lot of work goes into ensuring that any volunteer work is successful. There is more to it than just giving your time. Volunteer organizations have to stay on top of handling every volunteer properly. Here are some factors that could lead to failure of volunteer work.

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Failure To Think Of Volunteers Individually

Once a volunteer organization overlooks the power of focusing on each volunteer’s individual strength, weaknesses and talents, they fail to find the right fit for them. Remember, the key to successful volunteerism is giving the individual time to grow and develop themselves.

Assuming That The Volunteers Will Stick With You Until The End

The moment you fail to make the volunteers feel needed and valued, you start to lose them. People like to be in places where they feel like they are needed. That way they feel valued. Failure to constantly support and check on the volunteers will certainly lead to failure of volunteer work.

Failure To Seek The Volunteer’s Opinion Of Where They Prefer To Serve

Different people have different preferences and it has been proven many times that people actually thrive when they are placed in positions they are interested in. It is therefore very important to have a conversation with volunteers every now and then to find out what their desires are. As a volunteer organization, it is important to learn about their history and experiences. Failure to do so will lead to failure in volunteer work. In case they are not sure, you can always let them test drive the experience.

Giving Volunteers Tasks With No Instructions

Sometimes, volunteer organizations overlook the importance of job descriptions, clear visions and giving the volunteers an idea of the expected outcomes of their projects. This therefore leads to failure in volunteer work. Remember, coaching is very important. Giving clear guidelines, support and feedback could easily lead volunteers to great heights.

Failure To Care About The Volunteers’ Personal Lives

The state of people’s personal lives tends to reflect on their work. Whenever a volunteer decides to put in more time and work than is needed, it might be worth having a discussion with them. Find out how they are doing. Are they trying to avoid or escape anything in their personal lives? Finding out about the state of their family and close friends goes a long way in ensuring they are in the right frame of mind and healthy enough to balance their personal lives and professional work.

At CIVS, we take volunteering very seriously and as such, we focus on what’s important for the success of volunteer work.

Importance Of Volunteer Training In The Volunteering Process

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We talked about the characteristics of a good volunteer in our previous post. However, it is important to understand that other than those individual qualities, there is more required in order for the volunteering process to be successful. Today, we will discuss the importance of volunteer training.

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To maintain consistency during the volunteering process

Whenever you receive a group of volunteers, it is important to give them training so that they handle the different tasks ahead of them in the same way. It is important to give them a similar curriculum and techniques of handling tasks. This will result in the volunteers maintaining consistency in their volunteering whether it’s through how they interact with people, how they use the tools around them and their expectations from the entire process.

It gives volunteers confidence to perform their duties properly

Through volunteer training, the volunteers get a sense of self confidence because they are able to believe in themselves and their ability to succeed in their volunteering mission. The confidence that comes as a result of the training plays a big role in improvement of their satisfaction with the work they have done and it subsequently leads to the growth and success of any organization.

Volunteer training enables assessment of volunteer performance

Volunteer training provides an opportunity for volunteers to be assessed on how well they are doing in their projects against the objectives that were put in place for them during the training process. We are all aware that it is not very easy to determine whether or not someone is doing well when there is nothing for them to compare their performance to.

It gives the volunteers a sense of value

When you take your time to train volunteers, they appreciate the time and effort you put into it. Putting in a great training experience allows the sharing of useful information that will in more than just one way help them achieve what exactly they got into volunteering for. When they feel valued, they also end up putting in more effort and commitment in their different volunteering roles.

It enables volunteers to help without completely taking away the roles of the local people

It is already difficult to find jobs especially in developing countries. The economies are still growing. Imagine what would happen if volunteers came and took up the roles of the local people. That is why it is very important to train volunteers. That way, they will not overstep their boundaries. Through training, they will be able to understand what is required of them in terms of input.

It creates a sense of harmony between the locals and the volunteers

Volunteer training creates an environment that enables the volunteers to learn about the culture of where they will be staying, what the people love, how to be patient with them among others. Once they are familiar with this, the communities will be more receptive towards those volunteering among them.

We at CIVS offer volunteer training for all the volunteers who join us in our different projects. We make it a point to ensure the volunteers are well equipped before they go out to the community. You can always contact us in case of any questions.

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Here Are Some Five Great Places To Volunteer

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Having discussed the health benefits of volunteering, here are some different ways in which you can volunteer.

In the event that you feel that deep sense of volunteering, where can you do it? Here are five great places to volunteer.

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Hospital

It goes without saying that hospitals can definitely use the extra helping hand. From the support staff to the patients, families and the visitors, they all need volunteers in one way or another. You could lend a helping hand regardless of your age or level of education. Remember, volunteering is for a good cause so you should be prepared for the tasks you are given.Whether it’s cheering up the kids in the children’s wards, pushing wheelchairs, manning the information booths or general customer service, it counts.

At a local school

Schools work best with the involvement of the community. That said, people working in schools are often overworked. So that kind of environment offers an opportunity for volunteering. When it comes to education, the more people involved, the better. The pupils need to see people that can set a good example for them with each passing day. You could take up roles like reading them stories, helping clean the school environment, chaperoning some field trips among others that will definitely make an impact.

At a nursing home/ senior home

Often times, older people at nursing homes feel like they have just been dumped there. It would help if you give some of your time to them. Sometimes, all they need is someone to talk to, someone they can laugh or even cry with. They need to be reminded that while some of their relatives are too busy to be with them ever so often, someone else cares. It will make a big difference in their attitude which is why it is a great place to volunteer.

Animal rescue centres

Another great place to volunteer is an animal shelter. Some people are devoted to taking care of animals. They often need your assistance. So getting up and heading there to offer voluntary services such as walking the dogs, cleaning the places they stay at, answering phone calls, giving information and other administrative work could go a long way in keeping these shelters running and making these animals’ lives easier.

Your local church

A lot goes on in making a church what you see every Sunday, which is why it is also a great place to offer your volunteering services. You could always assist in cleaning the church, arranging flowers, doing administrative work among others. You could also teach the younger children at Bible study and while you are at it, you will be able to learn so many lessons that could help you in life as well.

So there you go. Five great places to volunteer at. We at CIVS Kenya always encourage you to grab any opportunities you can get to take part in volunteering activities. It will help change the lives of people you help and while you are at it, you will be helping yourself as well.

In case of any questions regarding voluntary work and where to volunteer, we are here to help. Contact us and we will answer your questions. You can also go through our website to read more.

Here Are Some Characteristics Of A Good Volunteer

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In our last blog post, we talked about five great places to volunteer. Today, we would like to talk about the characteristics of a good volunteer .

There is a lot more to volunteering that meets the eye. It is not easy, especially if you are going to be volunteering away from home, in a far away country. It really isn’t for the faint hearted. Remember, it requires you to give your time and energy in service to people for absolutely no pay or reward. It is a fulfillingexperience.

 

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Strong Leadership Skills

As a volunteer, you will be looked upon by the members of the community in which you live during the period of volunteering. As such, you will be required to set a good example. You will find yourself having to delegate tasks or let go of others confidently. You might also find yourself having to take up more tasks than you imagined.

Great Communication Skills

Another characteristic of a good volunteer is great communication skills. Remember that throughout the volunteering process you might have to work with people who are different from you. For that reason, it is important to learn how to listen to other people’s points of view and to effectively communicate yours without imposing on the people.

Passionate

The moment you align your passion with volunteering, you will be able to achieve a lot more in your cause. Whenever you’re passionate about what you do, your work will have the biggest impact. Passion will inspire even other people and also get them excited about working with you during your time in their community.

Respect

Volunteers do not judge. Instead you as a volunteer are supposed to take your time to understand everyone you interact with in the process of volunteering. To make a good volunteer, you need to respect the individuals and their needs.

Committed

Another thing that makes a good volunteer is commitment to their work. It usually takes time to start any project or task. So you should make sure that when you sign up for any volunteer work, you are ready to follow through with it to the end. Remember that the people in these communities are counting on you. Whether you choose a long term or short term project, make sure you work hard and leave a lasting impact.

Appreciative

A good volunteer should always appreciate the work of others. Giving regular feedback to people who you work with is important. You can always do it on a one on one basis or even in a group. Just remember that doing this makes people feel valued.

Selfless

The whole concept of volunteering revolves around selflessness. You have to give your time in order to help the people you are with. Selflessness is very rewarding because through it you get a sense of fulfillment.

Energetic

A good volunteer should be energetic and enthusiastic about the cause they have chosen. That way, your energy will rub off on others around you and they will feel motivated.

So, before you embark on the volunteering journey, assess yourself. Ask yourself if you have the characteristics required of a volunteer. It’s best to know yourself well because you do not want to be disappointed or to disappoint others.

In case you have any questions regarding the characteristics of a good volunteer and how you can get into it you can always contact CIVS Kenya for more details. We will be glad to take you through the process and will be with you throughout the entire journey.

Here Are Some Health Benefits of Volunteering

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We have discussed some personal benefits of volunteering before but what is amazing is then fact that this noble act of volunteering can actually have a positive effect to your health. Yes, while helping people in need through worthwhile causes, you end up helping yourself in the process. It works great for the well being of your mind and body.

So, here are some health benefits of volunteering.

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Volunteering boosts your physical health

According to studies, people who participate in volunteering activities live longer. In other words, they have a lower mortality rate compared to people who choose not to. Older volunteers especially benefit as they end up walking more, climbing more and building more. These physical activities make them less susceptible to conditions such as high blood pressure and frequent heart attacks or heart disease. They find it easier to deal with day to day tasks and activities. It also helps their brains and improves their thinking. It also reduces the chances of getting chronic pain.

It fights against stress, anxiety, short tempers and anger

Volunteering has a positive effect on your psychological well being. This comes about as a result of constantly being around people, which helps you learn their different behaviors . Working with people helps you be more patient with them and understand them better. Connecting with people also helps you minimize stress. It keeps you in high spirits so you will generally stay in a good mood. It also reduces anxiety and stress.

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Volunteering helps fight depression

Another health benefit of volunteering is that it helps reduce the symptoms of depression or just eliminates the condition. Depression has become a very common condition in recent times but being around people often will help you develop a constant support system that will keep you stronger. It also helps you appreciate what you have, thus helping you fight depression.

Volunteering makes you happy

According to research, helping others gives you immense joy and pleasure. Believe it or not, this study is as a result of measuring of hormones and brain activity of people by scientists, meaning it’s true. The more you give your time to volunteering, the more you help people and the happier you feel. A health benefit of volunteering to the elderly especially who are starting to feel like they are no longer needed is that it makes them gain a sense of purpose. It helps them find new meaning and direction at that particular stage of life. It also just keeps them mentally stimulated and happy.

It helps boost your self confidence

This is a psychological health benefit of volunteering that is very important to note. Self esteem can take you so far. Helping a community and seeing the results of your input helps you get a sense of accomplishment naturally. It keeps you proud of yourself and improves your sense of positivity alongside your belief in yourself and your ability to face life and achieve your future goals.

We at CIVS Kenya therefore encourage you to participate in volunteering communities. Contact us for more information on how you could volunteer, especially in Kenya with us, and be part of a group of selfless people who are making a big difference in communities.

You can also visit our website for more information.