Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Why volunteering?

Farha was one of two KUSU Volunteers who headed to Oxford for KUSU Volunteering. She explains a bit about the volunteering she has done which led her to apply for one of our conference places...
Farha at the Waldegrave School makeover!
I am Farha, a student volunteer here at Kingston university. This academic year I have been involved with KUSU Volunteering, taking up one off opportunities such as the makeover project at Waldegrave School with Kingston Sport. This involved a group of students and staff transforming the old sports hall by painting it and adding sports murals. It was great fun but admittedly very hard and tiring work, compensated by the feeling of pure satisfaction afterwards! 
Outside of university, the most recent major volunteering project I have undertaken was last summer, when I devoted my vacation to the NCS (National Citizen Service) project. This project is for 16 year old school leavers, and gives them a chance to gain an insight into further education, get involved with their community, make a real difference to an issue they care about and learn new skills. It gives them the chance to do something independent, and since I can remember being lucky enough to have a similar experience when I was a young teenager, I thought it was important for me to give something back and help ensure these young people have a memorable and fulfilling once in a lifetime experience.
Having volunteered for many different projects from a young age, it was no surprise that I wanted to continue when I began my university education. For me, volunteering has enhanced my life as a student. It gives me something to do rather than wasting time. I like to learn and to be kept busy and I love nothing more than the feeling of satisfaction when I know I have done something for somebody expecting nothing in return. I say nothing, but what I mean is no form of payment! Volunteering gives me things other than payment; such as new skills, meeting new people, becoming accustomed to the world of work, and enhancing my people and interpersonal skills. In my opinion it is time well spent for a student, and provides much needed work experience for life after graduation. In this current economic climate it is unfortunately evident that finding work is becoming increasingly difficult, and students who volunteer have that added strength above other graduates, and a more enhanced CV. 

My voluntary work so far has pushed me to apply for the ICS (International Citizen Service) which I have been accepted for, and I am currently being trained to be a gamesmaker at the London 2012 Olympics, where I will be working with the boxing team at the Olympic Village and the ExCel. There will be long 12 hour shifts involved over a period of 14 consecutive days, but I know it's going to be fantasic!

A further installment from Farha on her weekend at the Impact Conference will follow tomorrow...

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