09.11.2012 - Hobby

Help as calling, or All truth about volunteering

The theme of volunteering with approaching championship on football becomes more discussed. But in actual fact the sphere of activity of volunteers is not limited to the help during realization of big sport events. We will make an effort to find out, who these volunteers are and what are the reasons to become them.


Europeans in Ukraine

Usually a volunteer is a man by age 18–25. But the so-called «working camps» invite all persons interested, who yet was not 100. One of the most popular long-term programs for Europeans is named EVS (European Volunteer Service). She gives a unique opportunity to conduct a year in other country, engaging in social work. Project and country – on the choice of applicants. The program fully covers all charges on an accommodation and feed and provides volunteers pocket-moneys. Newly arrived, as a rule, take off an accommodation or live in guest families. The second variant is lot better, in fact a volunteer adapts oneself quicker, studies a language and has to whom to appeal for help. In addition, organization that accepts volunteers and engages in their current businesses cares of them. Volunteers work 30–35 hours in a week. The enormous amount of spheres is accessible for work: it and public relations, public organizations, child’s houses and centers for children with limit possibilities.

Arriving to Ukraine, Europeans have certain vision of future work already. Oksana Juryk, international secretary of «Alternative-V», to organization, that accepts volunteers, acknowledges that it answers reality not always. «Expecting one, often they study to something other. In any case it is useful experience that may need in the future».

Certainly, to get used to life it can be uneasily in Ukraine. In case of origin of any problems a volunteer calls to the mentor. «Mentor is an “official friend”. He is under an obligation weekly to ring to the volunteer and interested in his businesses», – Oksana Juryk talks. Mostly troubles are related exactly to employment. Someone has too much work, other force to fritter away, because forgot as though about them. Except it, even an ordinary hike after purchases or repair of the broken faucet can cause panic for a volunteer. It be possible to say, that volunteering opens new possibilities and at the same time is a certain gamble, checking for ability quickly to adapt oneself.

Reasons for altruism

To be a volunteer is a choice not only those, who is overwhelmed with unselfish aspiration to help. Sometimes people reason some pragmatic. First of all, examine such chance as valuable vital experience that will be a bonus to the resume. Some in general perceive volunteering as internship or training for the receipt of new profession. Oksana Juryk forces to let down them, because in actual fact aims and tasks volunteer diametrically opposite. Other popular reason to be involved in projects is escape from difficulties of house. Suicidal moods and domestic quarrels – what not cause for escape? A year is in unusual terms, a little rather from a routine, washes off it away all accumulated negative.

Choosing for volunteering is possible any country. However, exactly our country attracts Europeans eccentricness and certain exotic. Volunteers from Germany and Great Britain are divided by own reasons of such choice.

Felix Schmidtke from Germany arrived to Kyiv in autumn of 2010. Though his annual project already walked up to the end, a fellow does not have a desire to abandon Ukraine. After completion of school German youths have two ways – to go out into an army or take up social work. 6 from 10 Germans choose the second. «I am a not exception in that wanted to escape from an army. But special, because chose Ukraine. My mother was firmly convinced, that home from here I will not return living. In actual fact stereotypes about Eastern Europe are simply disgraceful». Felix arrived in the Ukrainian capital as a helper of teacher German. «During a few first weeks I was simply punch-drunk all. It will not with whom talk, at work continuous chaos, I was constantly lost and not nearly understood how a public transport works». In a year such «wild terms» all became into the places. Now Felix lives in guest family due to that perfects Russian. Now he teaches students German and gathers to continue this business another year. Except work, there are plans and in relation to rest: «We gather to travel with parents on Western Ukraine by a next autumn. By a past spring already together studied the Crimean peninsula».

Garret Buss from Great Britain translates Ukrainian texts on English for the Rivne web site about ecology. Does such work cause a smile: how British without elementary knowledge Ukrainian can do translation? «I use an online translator. I check up suggestion and give to them the veritable English sounding». This work new for Garret. Before he worked as a tourist manager in the United States, Canada and Britain. But he was got bored quickly. «In these countries all is so ideally arranged, that simply is boring you to live. And there are not two identical days» in Ukraine. The Ukrainian lifestyle Garret considers such to itself by «entertainment». «I intermingle with guest family the language of fingers. Souls I accept with the large bowl of the boiled water, because hot water is not present. Well, and the Ukrainian roads in general cause the storm of emotions for me»! In our country Garret feels a how not star: «I had a press-conference and interview on local Rivne television. In Britain I about such and could not dream!».

Ukrainians in Europe

Not only foreigners arrive to help Ukrainians but also our volunteers go for a border – usually to Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Germany and other countries. Duration of long-term projects folds 6–12 months. In addition, I am and working camps on a few weeks or months. To understand, in what, actually, essence of volunteer motion, our compatriots advise to begin with short-term projects. Unlike difficulties of Europeans in Ukraine, in Europe there are not reasons to worry our volunteers. There all is organized high-level. Somebody hopes due to a project in parallel to work, but visa it forbids. We take interest for the Ukrainian volunteers, or all their expectations justified one from participating in international projects.

Julja Micenko from Zaporizhzhya became a volunteer after completion of university. She twice participated in the Greek project for children with limit possibilities. «We had 15 volunteers from around the world, train nurse and almost 100 children. Feeling arose up, as though we are one long family. And the local behaved to us as to native». Julja helped to feed a kid, take senior children in schools and therapeutic centers. In addition, she conducted lesson drawing and modeling: «I adored the work! I had no limitations». Except social work, volunteers had duties that consisted in cleaning up and preparation of meal also. And on a weekend they could travel and meet with a local culture. After half-year in Greece Julja got a valuable lesson: «All Greeks are able to live and be glad to life. Without regard to economic and political instability, they never despair. It needs to learn to Ukrainians». Now Julja Micenko searches possibility of the international volunteering again, but marks that main it remains to inculcate gain knowledge on Motherland.

Another volunteer, Ljubov Prudkova, began the public activity in 11. This was a festival for children with limit possibilities «Believe in itself». A girl tells that lived with these children in one camp. Thus tutors tried to wipe any borders between them and prove that we all are equal. The first international project Ljuba incarnated in Germany – built a road on a cemetery. «I was frightened, first thought not to go. But alternatives were not, and participating in international convention of volunteers was very desirable». In two weeks works a girl did for it there are a few supervisions. For example, when make you work more than 5–6 clock in twenty-four hours, you must refuse. Ukrainians do not protest usually, because and so glad that grasped for such project. And Europeans look at a clock and negatively rock heads – they say, it was already worked. Manual labour in Germany Ljuba afterwards changed on educational in Czech Republic. Three months she told to the schoolchildren about Ukraine within the framework of international project in that young people from the whole world were partaken with Czeches by cultural experience of the countries. After it a girl became the leader of camp in Germany. It already is a new level of original quarry stair for those, who has enough experience, to coordinate work of other volunteers. For projects Ljubov Prudkova advises to elect little towns, because «they considerably more comfortable and sincere». Locals go to see you constantly, worry, divided by vital histories and treating. Analysing the European experience, Ljuba it is said that international projects are better developed, what Ukrainian. For us volunteer motion yet only in germ.

Is Euro2012 a death for volunteering?

Today we notice often, that, hearing about volunteers, people instantly associate them with football championship. Undoubtedly, the PR-campany of Euro–2012 did the work on perfectly. Almost 24 thousand people expressed a desire to be volunteers during this scale action. 6 thousand volunteers must work in only Kyiv. Nevertheless, Mykola Vorobiov, co-coordinator of Association of Volunteers of Ukraine, is convinced, what an amount will not have time to prepare. «Now to work 400 people are ready only. The state does not pay their service language schools, preparation is frozen» therefore. Another delicate problem is the force-voluntarily bringing in of students. Iryna Bodnar, vice-president of « Alternative-V», considers that most young people force to be volunteers for working off summer practice: the «idea of voluntarily help is lost. Euro–2012 is simply death for volunteering». Mykola Vorobiov consents that football championship harms rather, what assists the idea of volunteer motion. But official information about a force participation of students also is not present. In the end, chickens on an autumn are counted. Euro–2012 will be either a starting ground that will fish out volunteer motion from an embryo or starting for an erroneous idea about his essence and setting.

Our for ours

Iryna Bodnar said that people do not understand motivation of volunteers often. Do cynics laugh: «I that fool for free to work?». They do not realize usually, that a profit can be not only money but also experience, knowledge, circle of contacts. Euro–2012 created character of volunteering as something global. In actual fact a help can touch each. And Ukrainians, as practice shows, need her considerably anymore, what foreign football fans.

Kateryna Serheieva, co-coordinator of the Ukrainian social center «Volunteer», tells that their base counts 400 volunteers. A seventh from them is most socially active: «Those, who comes one time, to show the altruism to go away, unreliable. To us necessary people that is ready to spend time with children from child’s houses and orphanage weekly». Children quickly get used to the volunteers and expect them again. Feeling, that it was played by them and left, will entail stress: «You come not simply to have fun. You live by their life. Losing them, you lose part of the world». The work Kateryna considers morally heavy, but there «is nothing the best, than gentlefolks, that someone waits and hopes on you».

Discussing the prospects of volunteer motion in Ukraine, development workers complain, that Achilles fifth is a new law provision «About volunteer organizations». Iryna Bodnar considers a law absurd, in fact in accordance with him « Alternative-V» does not exist. She must register oneself in a supreme body, to get status of volunteer organization. Comical is that such organ until now is not created. There are a few points that cause indignation. For example, paragraphs about the age-related limitation and obligatory insurance. Complain, that it was passed an act in a hurry to Euro–2012.

A desire to help and get nothing is strange for most Ukrainians. Unlike Europe, where both students and pensioners are volunteers, in our country this activity only opens the doors for persons interested. To enter or remain wherein you are is a choice, that, no doubt, will influence on the future. When help other, help also and to itself, open new possibilities for the personal height – here recipe of experience volunteers. Ukrainians are ready on everything, to help people in other countries. Meantime volunteers are needed first of all here. And Euro–2012 business is not limited.

Julja Ghudoshnyk