The reality of volunteering in the field

Volunteering is a truly beautiful experience and a powerful way to give back and make an impact. However, if you’ve never volunteered before, you may not realize that this will be an experience you could never fully predict or expect. It requires an open mind, strong motivation, and a lot of empathy and resilience. This is especially the case for volunteers who join grassroots charities Indigo, which are often small-scale, and with limited human and financial resources.

Siren is one of our amazing volunteers who spent 7 months in Calais, France supporting charities that run children’s activities. While she loves her time volunteering, she shares with us some of the difficulties she’s faced along the way and things she’s learned.

“The workload is a lot and I love it. I love my job. But because we’re a small organization, on the pitch, whenever something happens you have to adjust the way you work. I end up doing a lot of things that aren’t in my role — acting reactive, prioritizing an emergency at the time I think that’s the difference with an internship.
Charities facilitate play sessions with children, going to camps and other places like day care centres, safe houses. It’s really cool because we work with other organizations to support kids. I am a volunteer and welfare coordinator.
Every day, I really try to anticipate what’s going on, what could happen and how we can adjust. It’s very strategic. That’s not really my role, but someone needs to do it.
I already had experience with children in terms of activities, but it was a huge responsibility as a coordinator — I’d never had a leadership role before. It all falls on me! But I’m not afraid – it was really the best choice in my life.
I really encourage others to volunteer — it’s a really cool experience. For young people who don’t know what they want to do, there are so many aspects you can experience through this fieldwork, and it really helps to make you aware of what you want to do with your life. There are so many valuable skills you will develop through this job, as long as you keep an open mind. I don’t know a better cause than refugees.”
If this makes you think and want to volunteer, then start your journey Here.
Read more volunteer stories Here.

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