Student Perspective: The Importance of Volunteerism and Taking Action

Volunteering: Whose Life Can You Change Today?

These days we are increasingly in a hurry. We do not have time for anything, usually, not even to help others. However, then came the pandemic, putting a brake on everything and reframing our values. What is the important thing in our lives? The fact is that we overestimate certain things, treating them as fundamental when, in fact, they are not. Many families in needy do not have the basics to live fully: food, housing, basic sanitation, education, employment. Volunteering is one of the most concise ways to change not only the lives of these families in need, as well as those who provide this noble service.

My story with volunteering started very early, thanks to my family. Being empathetic and helping others within my possibilities are valuable attitudes that my family taught me. Over the years, I understood that to help someone is not a burden. Sometimes, to someone who does not has anything, it becomes a lot. Just reflect on your talents and identify which ones can be shared with someone to do good.

I currently volunteer as an English language teacher helping young people and adults who aim to get higher education. I heard several stories from my students, many of them who only had access to the basics at school and, even so, did not even really learn the subject. I always share experiences that will make sense in their lives. After all, knowledge is power, and English is a universal language that opens doors to many opportunities.

It is clear that the intellect needs feeding, but before that, there is an urgent problem to be remedied: hunger. The sertão in Bahia state is an enchanting place, with incredible nature and yet suffering. The people who live here are always smiling, thanking, and sharing what little they have left, despite the daily struggle against the drought. I have been part of an NGO that, thanks to the help of supportive people, takes food to communities in needy in remote regions within this wild hinterland, as the people say around here.

In these communities, we see educational institutions closed for years, supposedly under renovation, resulting in the illiteracy of many young people and adults, in addition, many children, unfortunately, never having been to school. There you can see a child taking care of younger ones, living in a social bubble, in which this culture passes on. Those who aid these families will never know them but help them through the pure and true feeling of charity, in which the greatest gift is always to do good to others.

Today, we see that only one human being can save another, and empathy will move us forward as a society. Volunteering is one of the best examples of this practice. However, it has always been in the background for many people. Do not let it happen to you. Do not let someone’s pains become just statistics. Whose life can you change today? Make sure it does not take much. Use your talent and your voice to provide food on the table every day, to have the comfort of your home and help, because hunger does not wait.

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