Me and volunteering: why and how

I’ve always been a believer.

I believe in people, I believe in knowledge, I believe in breaking schemes, I believe in ideas and, most of all, I believe in connecting all this things togheter: I believe in people who break schemes using their knowledge and their ideas.

But I’ve always been a “maker” too.

I don’t like to sit down and say how te world could be a better place, I like to stand up and get my hands dirty.

I think that we need a revolution: a cultural revolution. And I think that if there is something you don’t like you are not allowed to complain about it if you do nothing to change it, so I try to do as much as I can to offer my contribuition to the change.

Because if everyone will contribute, the work will be done in a breath -and we could start an even more beautiful and useful work!

When I went to university I met a lot of amazing people who were doing the same things I’ve always dreamed to do: they were creating and promoting culture, social partecipation, awareness.

So I started to volunteer in various associations and groups: I’ve been an editor and then editor in chief for an universitarian newspaper edited under a CC-BY-NC-SA license, whose aims are to create stronger ties between students and citizens and to offer a critical and “young” point of view of political, social and cultural themes; I volunteered for the association connected with the newspapers, wich organizes cultural events such as literary and musical festivals, conferences and going on; I’ve been the responsible for the organization of cultural activities in an ARCI club (ARCI is one of the biggest italian associations for social advancement).

Then, in august 2011, I attended Wikimania, the annual international conference for the users of Wikimedia Foundation’s projects, and I did the next step: from mostly local associations I started to partecipate in a national one, Wikimedia Italia. And it’s just great!

Where is this going to?

Hello Ginevra, thanks for sharing. I am a Wikipedian too - but a very basic one, who only does very minor things (here I am on Italian wikipedia). Good to meet you!

So you enjoy volunteering, you are good at it and you are moving to being active in a very big global community. Where is this going? What’s next? Do you have a goal or are you ust happy with doing the day’s work? Would you like to take a job in the nonprofit sector and make this your work?

Don’t know yet, but…

Always happy to find new wikipedians!

I don’t have any specific goal yet, because I’m quite new in the wikimedia movement, so I’m enjoying my honeymoon with the association doing different things when there is a need and where I can use my skills.

But since I’m a woman I would like for sure to learn more about women participation in wiki projects and how to encourage it!

I don’t know if I would like to take a job in nonprofit, because I fear that “volunteering for living” could become a thing that I have to do, not that I want to do. Do you think that is a legitimate concern?

Believing, a very powerful force

Encourage women participation, this idea pleases me!

I am a believer too. A quite naive believer, on top of that! A tireless believer, that believes a lot! A lot more than the majority of believers. But it is this naivety that makes me steer through a community, which I know absolutely nothing and absolutely no one, and ask questions that nobody ever dares to raise aloud.

“Be the change you want to see in the world”, this is what you stand up for!

If the “what you want” to do was always available for you, in non-profits, I bet you could become long-term committed. This is somewhat the case for all jobs, is not it? We all wish that we will be able to work on the things that we care about.

As a strong headed believer, just like you, all my life I looked for places where it was possible for me to do “what I want”. It is somehow inconceivable for someone who is as strong in his/her convictions or beliefs, not to be heavily involved in what he/she does. Otherwise, it seems that we become dead inside, and we rapidly end up on the road of decay.

1 Corinthian 13: “Faith, hope, and love, but love is the greatest.” Nevertheless, faith (believing) is the first on this list only three forces. Faith is a very powerful force that provides passion and energy… that can push someone to make wonders.

I think that faith is a very powerful force too!

We should really ri-educate people to believe: it’s really sad when I talk to a girl or a guy of my age and they say that we have no hope, no future, no possibilities and going on. If you’re not the first person to believe that you DO have hope, future and possibilities it will never come true!

Also because I think that believing is action: if you believe in something, you will do everything possible to make it reality, so if you believe that the world outside is waiting for you to be rocked you will have more strenght for rocking it!

Believing as a solution to clear the gloom

I agree with you (about what you said about believing).

Young people having this negative perception of their future and being convinced that they have no hope: that is terrible.

Speaking of gloom, there are people who are so fatalistic that they believe that humanity will be destroyed in less than one hundred years. I am not able to stay in the same room with these people, their sense of darkness is so pronounced that they make me want to scream. How can one find motivation to wake up every morning, with thougths like this.

Suicide rate is on the rise. Suicidal behaviour is a major health concern in many countries, developed and developing alike. At least a million people are estimated to die annually from suicide worldwide.

Over the last few decades, while suicide rates have been reported as stable or falling in many developed countries, a rising trend of youth suicide has been observed. In 21 of the 30 countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) European region, suicide rates in males aged 15-19 rose between 1979 and 1996. For females, suicide rates rose less markedly in 18 of the 30 countries studied. (ref)

Loss of social cohesion, breakdown of traditional family structure, growing economic instability and unemployment and rising prevalence of depressive disorders - have been presented as explanations.

Prevalence of depressive disorders cannot be explained by scientists and authorities. WHO asked countries to put demency on their list of priorities. (ref)

Re-educating (believing) could very well be the solution… Because of your insightful comments on believing, I add you to my list of mission reports, for the Edgeryders finale:‘Bending toward a paradigm shift’.

I feel almost like you :slight_smile:

Hi Ginevra,

I really enjoy reading your mission. It’s very good to see that there are other optimistics like me :-). I’m a volunteer to0 and I think it’s so nice to do somethink you enjoy and have a huge satisfaction only because of what you do and not bacause of how much you earn. Surely, at a certain point you have to quit volunteering and work for money, but I think it’s extremely important to do something you are good in and something you like. This is the only way to be able to be productive and to bring that change in the world you want so much. Which are your plans for the future?

don’t know yet

Hi Amalia,

I read your “share your ride” mission and I really admire your strenght and passion!

I don’t have specific plan for the future yet, the only thing I know is that I would like to have a dynamic and somewhat creative job -but who doesn’t?

I woul like to adapt my field of study (anthropology, with a special eye on religions) in something useful and new, maybe being a consultant for some national or international organization or for governements.

I read on your mission that you would like to have a diplomatic career, that’s very cool!

Hello Ginevra,

and welcome

Hello Ginevra,

and welcome to Edgeryders! I find interesting that you are very into volunteerism and I like your idea of “Because if everyone will contribute, the work will be done in a breath -and we could start an even more beautiful and useful work!”'Its so nice the way you put it that it sounds a bit utopic … When I was a student I was very involved in AIESEC and some other volunteer projects and then one day I realised that unfortunately somehow I would need to make a living… have you thought already about that? Do you gain somehow a living?

I admit that up to now most of volunteer work I did I have enjoyed way much more than paid jobs I ve done… Does it mean something? Should we change the way we are looking for a “job” or maybe the currency system should be different?

I read recently these very interesting mission reports on these two questions of mine and I would recommend you to do so: 1. Indinur’s “My&Leonardo way to work” dealing with the multitasker type of person who also looks for a ‘Job" not because only of money but also of interest. 2. Matthias’ “Alternative currencies to the rescue?” who is very interested in different exchange systems.

What do you think of that?

Thank you!

Thank you for the suggestions, I will look at this missions, they seems to be very appealing!