Youth and Voluntary Work
The Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) views the youth as a driving force, the life blood of the community and as agents of change, if guided, mentored and empowered they can have a great impact in developing their own communities and leading the country to a safer, healthier and knowledgeable future. With that in mind, the PFPPA has been working on recruiting volunteers from different walks of life to take part in its programs and activities, in addition to having a voice in designing the frame work of the association’s actions towards achieving its goals and objectives. Believing in the power and influence of youth and volunteerism, the association has opened its doors for all Palestinian youth regardless of gender, color, religion or political affiliation to plan, participate and implement many of its projects activities, and watch firsthand how people’s lives, attitudes and beliefs change to the better including their own.
Sometimes we look at the way the world is and think, “This isn’t the way things are supposed to be.” By volunteering, you can help make a positive change in the world. Each of us wants to live in a community where families are healthy and strong, where people are aware and informed and where human rights are preserved and protected.
By volunteering, you help make your community a better place to live in, and you become part of the solution, part of the change, join us and share this amazing experience of what it truly means to be a Palestinian youth volunteer.
Who is the volunteer?
The volunteer is an individual who possesses certain skills, talents, knowledge, experience, personality and passion, and who has the time and abilities to provide service to a group of individuals or associations or the whole community. The volunteer ought to believe in the work he/she undertakes and ought to believe that individuals can make change in the community. Each of us is unique and has something to share with others.
What is voluntary work?
To volunteer means simply, to be motivated and give one’s time, talents or energies to work towards a project, purpose or cause that you are interested in freely and without regard for compensation, usually in one’s community.
Voluntary work in divine religions:
Divine religions openly urge for voluntary work. Both Islam and Christianity urge people to volunteer, to give and help others, and to care for their community for the well being of all. A verse in the Holy Koran could be translated as “To volunteer with good deeds is good for you”. Also, a saying remarks that “God has chosen certain people to help others. He made them love good and made them beloved to others. They shall avoid torture in the judgment day”. Moreover, Christianity urges people to undertake voluntary work where the Bible remarks “Give those who beg you” and “if you want to be perfect, sell your property and give the poor, so you can have a treasure in heaven”.
The importance of voluntary work for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs):
The non-governmental and non-profit associations consider volunteers the basis for meeting the needs of civil society and the major element for achieving developmental purposes since they represent their communities in its specifications and needs. The administrative committees of such associations work on voluntary basis and provide an in depth perspective that is valuable for the association and its work. Practically, the presence of volunteers reduces the cost of human resources and that results in more projects to be carried out for the well being of the communities they are targeting. Similarly, voluntary work is perceived to be very important because it adds a lot of new experiences since volunteers usually have different thoughts and abilities and come from different backgrounds, thus can increase the efficiency of the associations.
The work undertaken by volunteers in PFPPA
The PFPPA operates in the field of family heath while focusing upon sexual and reproductive health and rights. The work which is carried out by the volunteers in the centers of the association can be summed as follows:
– Promote awareness in various areas in regards to sexual and reproductive health and rights by distributing brochures and fliers, organizing and participating in workshops, lectures, conferences and writing articles and essays in PFPPA’s newsletters and magazines.
– Participate in the activities supporting youth and women rights in sexual and reproductive health.
– Specify youth and unprivileged groups’ needs in their communities.
– Plan, organize and participate in implementing youth programs.
– Represent the association in conferences, at national and international workshops concerned with youth and gender issues.
Preparation of volunteers in the association:
When volunteers are approved in the association, the coordinators in the youth centers prepare them to become agents of change in their own communities, with their friends and families;
– Educate volunteers about sexual and reproductive health and rights through written materials, awareness raising sessions and workshops.
– Take part in trainings such as; preparing leaders, communication skills and making youth networks.
– The coordinators enlist volunteers in the activities corresponding to their skills, commitment and attitudes.
What do the volunteers obtain?
– Participate in activities in Palestine and abroad to help them develop their skills and personalities.
– Acquire practical experience so that they can work in various non-profit organizations.
– Obtain certificate of experience that could help them apply for jobs in the future.
– Expand the network of relationships with individuals and associations.
– Participate in summer camps carried out by the association.
– Watch firsthand how people’s lives, attitudes and beliefs change to the better including their own.
Conditions of terms of membership in the PFPPA:
1. Volunteers should between the ages of 15-25.
2. Believe in the importance of voluntary work and in the goals and principles of PFPPA.
3. Commit to voluntary work which sometimes requires field work.
4. The ability to give in accordance with your skills and to support the association.
5. To be honest, reliable, accountable and committed.
Before you decide to be a volunteer, you should ask yourself:
– Do I believe in voluntary work?
– Can I work within a team?
– Do I believe in equality between men and women?
– Do I believe in promoting awareness in community?
– Am I prepared to struggle for supporting youth and women rights in reproductive and sexual health?
– How much time can I make for voluntary work?
– What are my special abilities that I would like to share with others?