VoluHUB - an encounter of volunteers for volunteers to talk about volunteering
That’s what we did for three consecutive days. We were a very big and diverse group of volunteers from different parts of Romania and other countries of Europe, different ages (17 to +30), and from different associations and projects, but with many things in common; volunteering was just one of them.
During these three days, not only we shared our passion for volunteering and motivations, but also stories from past experiences in projects, events, youth exchanges, school/university exchanges, among many others. By sharing experiences not only we contribute with new ideas, methods and good practices, but also we learn from other’s experiences as well.
One of the exercises we did in group was to say what volunteering means to us, and for me it has been about sharing and learning, I feel like I have learn so much in such a short period of time. This exercise was done using the “dialogue method” which I didn’t knew before, it consists in sharing stories, experiences or an opinion in group without interruptions, meaning, we are not allowed to ask questions to the person who is talking, we should only listen, it was the first time for me and I definitely recommend this method.
Another important part of this big encounter was to hear experiences about volunteering from a coordinator’s point of view, during one exercise in our group we had one coordinator who explained some of the activities and events organized, how they were organized and the “road to” become a coordinator, which is basically - a lot of work, doing many different things and not giving up.
Last but not least, what really inspired me during these three days was meeting very young people super engaged in civic and volunteering work, some of them started to volunteer at 15 and at 18 they already have more experience than me. It was really great to meet responsible and dynamic young people who embraced the world of volunteering so passionately and who are working continuously in associations and thinking about a better future for them and for the others.
This was a great way to meet people who share some of the same ideas and values as me (I’m sure many others felt the same). It is not always easy to find people who understand and care for the same values, solidarity, empathy, cooperation, etc and so I am glad to have met volunteers with similar perspectives, passions and interests.