Picture by Zoe Moisidou

I perceive volountarism as a “human power”­. You give somenthing and realize that, without aspectation you receive even more than what you gave. It’spriceless but with a big value. It’s based on human trust and human needs , for this reason, i think it’s an essential way to build relations. Relations built in volountarism experience are generally deeper, at least in my personal experience. People are known for their most sensitive and vulnerable side. This makes relationships more authentic and human. My best friends, the people I can trulycount on, have shared volunteer experiences with me. In the “liquid society”, humanity finds itself, through solid relationships, based on mutual exchange. Also, for this reason, I believe it is a real “human power”, an intrinsic and added value of the person at the same time.

Another aspect that I find powerful and fascinating is that volunteering is exceptionally inclusive. Incredibly those who give and those who receive are on the same level. To volunteer, no special skills or knowledge are needed; the only important requirementis the individual’s will, his motivation to do, give and receive. It is a path that is built by doing. The knowledge and skills are assimilated directly, on the field; for this reason, they remain indelible in people, they become an integral part of the personality. And they are knowledge, skills butals or attitudes, which could not be learned in anyother way, suchasempathy, solidarity and the ability to see situations from another perspective, outside the box and as many numerous “soft skills”. None of these can be taught; they can only be experienced.

In addition to deeply enriching the individual’s personality, many of these so-called “soft skills” acquired through the experience of volunteering, are also an increasingly important part of the person’s professional profile. In almost all the professional profiles required, reference is also made to soft skills, in job interviews, they ask to speak of extra-study or extra-professional experiences. From personal experience, in almost all job interviews and applications, I found myself talking about my experiences of volunteering, and it was precisely those that impressed and mostinterested in the examiner.

Finally, I can, therefore, say that the experience of volunteering has definitely changed my life. It gave me the opportunity to perceive the various situations differently, to experience sides of me, which otherwise I would probably never have discovered. It enriched me from a relational, personal and professional point of view. It gave me opportunities to learn from my mistakes and get involved. To understand that it is when you take a steptowards the other, outside your comfort zone that you collide and meet with reality and with life.