VOLUNTEERISM AS A RESPONSIBILITY

Volunteerism! What comes to mind when you hear that word? For some, it might be a waste of time and for others, it is a definition of working without anything in return, which is not true. Putting aside financial gains which are unlike for a volunteer to receive, volunteerism can be a great factor to engage with the community and build a valuable network and make a difference.  As a volunteer, one has the responsibility to be reliable to their communities by participating actively in different activities that contribute to the development of such communities.

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A picture of Camilius Simon during seminar presentation.

Camilius, a young man with hopes and dreams, aspires to build a village of children who will be provided with everything they need. It is his vision to see vulnerable people, especially children live a better life and have the opportunity to dream and get a hold of their future.  “Volunteerism for me is something that is in my roots,” expresses Camilius Simon, a 21-year-old young man who is a CEO and founder of a non-profit organization called Natalia Foundation. Tracing his background, Camilius’ passion for volunteering and social responsibility began from home. His parents were farmers who used to harvest and share the little thing that they had with the rest of the community. His mother being his biggest icon, would harvest some crops, sell them and help those in need within their village in the Lindi region.

Camilius began his journey in serving the community a while ago in 2010 where he volunteered for various organizations. He was recognized on multiple occasions as a youth changemaker in his community for his spirit and passion for volunteerism. Unlike how most people define volunteerism, for, Camilius it is a valuable part of his life as he has had access to multiple opportunities as a result of his volunteerism spirit. He is currently a part-time teacher in Mathematics and Science at Al-Muntazir schools and recently chosen as a chairman for the youth advisory board at UNFPA.

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A picture of Camilius Simon during volunteering activities.

During his time in school, the young CEO worked on various initiatives that aimed at helping his fellow students in building skills that would help serve their community. He organized his students through his charity club known as MWEMWEJUKA to contribute at least 1000 Tanzanian Shillings each month so they could be able to support people in need. Despite the disappointments from his fellow students, Camilius stood strong until he finished his high school studies in 2019 and took a gap year to start his foundation. Natalia Foundation is now registered as a legal entity operating in Dar es Salaam and Dodoma. Natalia foundation now has 50 friends of Natalia and 20 members from different countries. He emphasizes that for him people who are willing to receive his acts is what matters most, let alone financial resources and support from giant organizations.  “My capital is people,” is what he lives by.

Our communities can do a lot to support and uplift volunteers aside from financial gains. A number of different programs and mentorship support can be offered to empower those with a passion for community service. These programs and mentors can guide the volunteers towards working to better communities and inspire others to its welfare. We can all be volunteers in our own neighbourhoods, towns, countries and for the whole world. Giving is not only limited to offering money. Like Camilius, we can all give our time, efforts and manpower to support those around us. The world is in need of people with a kind and giving spirit who are willing to give to those who may not seem as if they can give anything in return. It starts with us, it starts with you.

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