The Optical Illusion - Why do I volunteer?

by volpower
5 years ago

Volunteering for me is helping out and supporting others who have great ideas.

Blog post by Joël Boateng, The Netherlands

 This is one of the places where I volunteer. What this picture visualizes are children enjoying an ice cream in front of the café where I volunteer. What you don’t see is where the café is located. 

It’s located in what is statistically the worst neighborhood in Delft, a city in The Netherlands. I say “statistically” because if it’s such a bad neighborhood, how can these children be sitting outside and eating ice cream unattended?! 

There are people evading this neighborhood because of its false reputation. 

The owner of this café wanted this to change and therefore he opened his café in this neighborhood. 

Most of the people in this neighborhood don’t have a computer or a printer at home. So he decided to make possible using these devices at the café. Therefore this café could be seen as a focal point of the neighborhood. Where people can drink, where they are able to use devices and most importantly connect with others. 

Volunteering for me is helping out others. Supporting others who have great ideas, for instance the owner of this café, in their journey to accomplish social cohesion. It makes me happy to see people getting together, it makes me happy to see people feeling included. 

For example, most people in this neighborhood are immigrants and some have a hard time learning the language. I make sure to make everybody who walks in feel welcome. Making them feel so makes them not fear to ask questions. Some even walk in to ask me to translate a letter they got. 

Seeing how thankful they get after receiving my help makes me joyous.

“From the editor: Joël participated in the International Volunteer Event in Zagreb (10-14 June 2019) as part of the Dutch team of volunteers selected by Erasmus University Rotterdam. Within Volpower, he volunteers for HipHopHuis”