Cultivation of a Quality Education

During the academic year I volunteer at Henderson Middle School, an under-funded school in the city of Richmond, Virginia.  I’ve been mentoring and tutoring the same group of students for two years now. In this short span I have already been able to form a strong bond with my students and witness them mature and develop their interests in and out of school. All of the students at Henderson have so much potential, but they

Read more ...

Volunteerism & Sustainability

In 2015, U.N. officials and leaders of international development programs announced that volunteers would be an essential part of efforts to meet the newly proposed Sustainable Development Goals. It was also a year in which volunteers demonstrated their potential to create change. Thousands of volunteers responded to the Ebola crisis in Guinea and helped to strengthen social services in Togo; however, despite the scope and significance of volunteers’ accomplishments, their contributions are often unrecognized or

Read more ...

Access to Safe Water

Imagine mostly inaccessible water, tainted with toxic chemicals.  Then imagine being forced to travel long distances to drink that harmful water, because it is your only choice for survival.  In the United States and other developed countries, access to clean water is something we take for granted.  But in many parts of the world, such basic necessities are not so easy to obtain. According to Indian governmental surveys, 54% of homes in rural India do

Read more ...

My Journeys in the Landscape of Volunteering

98 teddy bears – looking back, that’s what marks the beginning of my longtime commitment to volunteering. As a child (and with the help of an obliging mother), I volunteered several hours of my time to collect donations of teddy bears to be sent to a local children’s hospital. 98 bears and 15 years later, I can say that volunteering has been one of the longest “constants” in my life.  However, my thoughts on the

Read more ...

Trends of International Volunteerism in the 21st Century

The U.N. Volunteers program defines volunteerism as an action that an individual willingly undertakes, that is not financially compensated, and that generally contributes to the common good. The act or employ of volunteers essentially serves to elevate the wellbeing of individuals, communities, and the larger society; consequently, volunteerism values and promotes solidarity, reciprocity, trust, as well as feelings of belonging and empowerment. In the 21st century, general trends in international volunteerism fall into three categories:

Read more ...