Volunteering – a way to discover the world around you

Many times we see around us and on the pages of social networking messages that urge us to get out of our comfort zone because then we shall find wonderful things. The magic is going to happen. We shall find a wonderful world that is not accessible to us immediately, that will broaden our horizons.

There are lots of ways to get out of our comfort zone: we can say “Yes” to several things, we can explore places where we do not know what is happening, and in fact, one way right at our fingertips, is volunteering. Non governmental organizations, civil associations, companies or state institutions such as public libraries organize various volunteering activities.

Such activities not only solve an external, punctual problem, but often help us solve our personal problems and hence we feel more at peace with ourselves.

Gandhi said that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself completely in the service of others. Besides Gandhi, some of the most famous volunteers are Maria Teresa, Agatha Christie, a nurse at Red Cross for a long time, Ella Fitzgerald who put her voice in the service of information campaigns on polio, or well-known Angelina Jolie, UN ambassador, involved in volunteering in more than 20 countries.

Volunteering can increase your self confidence and increase satisfaction and contentment felt overall as a consequence of the fact that you feel good. You become proud of your accomplishments and begin to find values with which you identify. And when you trust yourself, you optimize your future plans.

Furthermore, for the volunteers the objective is the most important, not the harsh responsibilities as in the case of the positions remunerated. As a volunteer, you are exposed to tasks that require new skills, you learn new techniques and develop abilities that you can put at the service of a concrete objective.

In recent years, volunteering activities in public libraries of Romania have increased considerably, and librarians are often the first volunteers in their communities. Volunteering in the libraries can help the developing of the community, allows a better understanding and development of its values.

For example, in the frame of the project Cultural Agora @ Your Library, the librarians’ mission is to draw volunteers who will attend the free training of video editing and storytelling. By attending such courses along with others in the community and talking about family, the culture you belong, or different habits from the household or traditional, you can learn new things and discover passions you had never thought in the past and learn to value quality time spent with people like you or, on the contrary, very different.

By participating in the project Cultural Agora @ Your Library you have the chance to learn generosity, to  share emotional experiences and sometimes even true life stories with other people.

Cultural Agora @ Your Library is a project implemented by ANBPR in affiliation with Jazzmontor AS Norvegia and REPLIKA Cultural Association, financed through the SEE 2009-2014 Grants, the PA17/RO13 Programme “The Promotion of diversity of culture and art within the European heritage” (www.fonduri-diversitate.ro) in Romania.

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