By Sann Sethvitou
Among many other student organizations at the University of Cambodia (UC), UC Cambodian Red Cross Youth (UCCRCY) is an organization in which students are actively involved in voluntary work at both UC and in Cambodian society. Since this club was established in July 2011, we have participated in many volunteer activities. For example, we helped to clean Prey Samrong Pagoda in Takhmao district, Kandal Province before Pchum Ben Day, and we were involved in many volunteer activities sponsored by the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC), including a volunteer trip to Bar Phnom District in Prey Veng province to deliver food and aid materials to citizens affected by recent flooding. In addition, we also volunteered for activities sponsored by the University.
|Members of the UC Cambodian Red Cross Youth volunteered their time to help members of society and support UC activities.|
Why do youth volunteers participate in these activities? And what are the benefits of volunteer work? As volunteers, we enjoy giving back to our community and helping a worthy cause, but we also gain valuable experience that can help prepare us for future employment. Through volunteerism, young students can:
• Gain exposure to different jobs in various fields and work settings;
• Develop new skills and strengths (e.g., communication, teamwork, time management, positive attitude, initiative, etc.);
• Gain work experience, even if it is unpaid;
• Meet new people, extend their network, and make valuable contacts;
• Build self-confidence and feel valued;
• Enjoy the satisfaction of making a difference; and
• Have additional sources of positive work references.
Through my experiences, I have found that building a network is one of the most significant advantages of doing volunteer work. Young people can meet other people who have similar values and can befriend these individuals to enlarge our network, as well as our knowledge base. The larger your network, the more information you can get; and information provides you with opportunities.
The challenge, though, is to find a volunteer opportunity that suits each individual. Think about your interests and explore volunteer opportunities related to those interests. Also, be willing to explore opportunities that you are completely unfamiliar with because you will broaden your knowledge base and may discover that you enjoy them.
Volunteering is something everyone can do, regardless of who they are. As a volunteer, you can make a difference. By helping others, you gain new experiences and can develop additional professional skills. It can be a very rewarding experience and can also be a valuable asset to your job.
On behalf of UCCRCY, I would like to encourage all UC students to become involved in volunteerism, especially with our club, so we can all help our friends, the University, and Cambodian society.
Finally, I would like to express my appreciation to the University of Cambodia, Kong Ratana (our Advisor, UC Registrar, and Director of the Office of Administration), staff members, and students for showing their support and helping us to complete our projects. I wish you all the five gems of Buddhist Blessing.
Source: UC Bulletin December 2011, Page 28