EPISODE 12: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GLOBAL VOLUNTEERING STANDARD FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VOLUNTEERS
VSO / Forum
Rahim Hassanali is the Global Leadership Manager of VSO and the Coordinator of the Forum Standards Working Group. His work has spanned 15 countries, earning him four prestigious awards and the privilege of private audiences with esteemed figures like HRH The Prince of Wales, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, in recognition of his contributions to the field.
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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GLOBAL VOLUNTEERING STANDARD FOR A NEW GENERATION OF VOLUNTEERS
The Global Volunteering Standard serves as a powerful resource, supporting organisations to develop truly responsible and impactful volunteer programmes that foster engaged global citizens.
Having worked with young people for over two decades, I have observed their passion to make a meaningful difference when dedicating their time. A remarkable example of this dedication is VSO’s International Citizen Service Programme, which brought together over 40,000 young volunteers between 2011and 2017, collaborating across 32 countries around the world.
The unique perspectives of young volunteers
"By involving young people in development efforts, we tap into a vast reservoir of talent and enthusiasm."
Youth volunteers bring unique perspectives, energy, and creativity to the table. When developing the Global Volunteering Standard, we particularly looked at its applicability to youth volunteering. We understand that by involving young people in development efforts, we tap into a vast reservoir of talent and enthusiasm. Furthermore, local youth volunteers often possess a deep understanding of the challenges faced by their own communities, making their contributions more contextually relevant and impactful. However, inadequate support for youth volunteers can lead to especially adverse effects on both the volunteers themselves and the projects they are involved in. Therefore, as well as volunteer programs being meaningful and impactful, we must ensure that there is a high level of support in place for all volunteers.
The Global Volunteering Standard sets a high benchmark for creating a supportive environment for volunteers, prioritising the well-being and personal development of the volunteer, while providing them with proper training, mentorship, and opportunities to enhance their skills and leadership capabilities.
Collaboration with local communities
The Standard also emphasises collaboration with local communities, including youth, ensuring that volunteers engage directly with the challenges and needs on the ground. This participatory approach empowers us to better understand development challenges, provides young people with opportunities to be at the forefront of community-driven development, and creates the conditions for youth volunteers to make meaningful change.
As we face an increasingly complex and interconnected world, preparing for future development challenges requires a proactive and forward-looking approach. Youth volunteering serves as a powerful avenue for capacity building and skill development among young people, equipping them to address emerging global issues.
By embracing the Global Volunteering Standard, organisations can create a nurturing ecosystem that fosters the growth of youth leaders. These empowered youth leaders will be better equipped to tackle the ever-evolving challenges faced by communities worldwide.
An investment in a sustainable future
Youth volunteering in development is not just about the present; it’s about investing in a sustainable future. The Global Volunteering Standard is our ally in supporting and shaping the leaders of tomorrow, ensuring that they are prepared to meet the diverse and complex development challenges that lie ahead.
Let’s unite in placing youth at the heart of our efforts, empowering them to make a meaningful difference in the world.
"The Global Volunteering Standard is our ally in supporting and shaping the leaders of tomorrow, ensuring that they are prepared to meet the diverse and complex development challenges that lie ahead."
Watch the video interview below as the author unpacks the topic;