Franklin Delano Roosevelt said: “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”
Pravin, 22, reaches home at 5pm from his office and the first thing that he does after changing is to feed his two dogs. Afterwards, he goes to his backyard where he has a small garden, across which a small river flows.
There, he had put up a temporary shelter for eight stray dogs, abandoned by neighbours. As he nears the shelter, a bunch of colourful black, brown, and white dogs comes running towards him as he lays down food for them.
Pravin declares: “Look into the eyes of these innocent creatures. They deserve to have as much food as humans since they are living beings, too.” When asked if he is associated with any volunteering organisation, Pravin claims that he doesn’t need to be part of any organisation to do some good work. He is an independent volunteer.
There's no better time than international Volunteer Day (5th December) to inspire family, friends, and colleagues to volunteer. Every human being has the capacity to do something that could benefit others. Volunteering has been the backbone of both social and economic developments in Mauritius.
We can see Mauritian people helping family, friends and neighbours on occasions such as the arrival of a newborn, weddings or even sad moments when a person passes away. This volunteer attitude of Mauritians has ensured solidarity in this small country of ours.
Today, in an era of social media, where we are producing a generation glued more to their cell phones rather than communicating verbally, keeping up with volunteering in the real world will certainly uphold our fundamental values. Volunteering will help in our “Nation Building.”.
Recently in mid-November, Volunteer-Mauritius organised a police service course for the public aged as from 15 and more. Steve Gungadeen, senior youth officer of Volunteer-Mauritius, said that “the motive behind this police service course is to prepare skilful and trained volunteers for society so that they can help their families and friends during emergencies, natural calamities and accidents.
They will be called upon to assist police when required. In long run, these trained volunteers will help the country.” Information on different volunteer projects of Volunteer- Mauritius can be found on Volunteer Mauritius website and also on their Facebook page. The members of police service course have also visited the dog squad and the coast guard ship barracuda where they were informed about the work conducted by coast guard ships.
International Volunteer Day
International Volunteer Day (IVD) (originally and still known as International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development) (December 5) is an international observance designated by the United Nations since 1985. It offers an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to make their contributions visible – at local, national and international levels.
Benefits of volunteering
Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once in five years, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in, although there are many benefits of volunteering as well.
- Volunteering connects you to others.
- Volunteering is good for your mind and body.
- Volunteering can advance your career.
- Volunteering brings fun and fulfilment to your life.
- Gain confidence.
- Learn new skills.
- Increase your social and relationship skills.
- Gaining career experience.
Where to volunteer
The best way to volunteer is to match your personality and interests. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available on the island. The key is to find a volunteer position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. Ask yourself if you would like to work with adults, children, animals, or some other cause. Other options for those interested in volunteering can be follows:
Launched in December 2015 under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Volunteer Mauritius aims to create opportunities for youth to engage in volunteering activities at regional and national levels. Volunteer Mauritius (also known as the National Young Volunteer Scheme) has as objective to promote a volunteering culture and spirit among young people. Youth engagement and participation through volunteering has the power to foster an environment where young Mauritians are able to bring in their energy, passion, creativity as well as innovative solutions to pressing issues relevant to them as well as for the society at large.
The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation
The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Mauritius to be exclusively concerned with the conservation of the endangered endemic plants and animals of Mauritius.
PAWS Mauritius (Protection of Animals Welfare Society)
PAWS is a Mauritian community driven for animal welfare. PAWS aims to improve the lives of companion animals in Mauritius and assist in humanely managing the population of dogs and cats via education and sterilization. Our goal is to prevent and eliminate all cruelty to all animals whether arising through ignorance, neglect or deliberate cruelty. Their vision is that all animals should be treated with kindness and respect.
Reef Conservation Mauritius is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and the restoration of the costal and marine environment of Mauritius. It promotes sustainable use of the biodiversity of our marine ecosystems through local and regional efforts in a partnership approach with all concerned stakeholders. Reef Conservation Mauritius employs professional qualified biologists and support staff to manage and implement its projects.
All these organisations provide internship and volunteer programmes, which are an excellent opportunity for students (both undergraduate and graduate) and working individuals to learn and to serve. Volunteering is generally an experience that can create a lifetime of bonds and memories.
Savita Tiwari is a freelance journalist exploring Mauritius in all possible ways. She loves to write on every subject under the sun. Education and Children are her favourite topics.
You can contact her on facebook/savitapost