Life in Australia: Volunteering in Australia & # 8212; Our first experience.

Life in Australia: Volunteering in Australia & # 8212; Our first experience.
Do Good and it will return to you.
In the heart of volunteering / volunteering, the ideals of service and solidarity are gathered together and the belief that together we can make this world a better place. In this sense, it can be said that volunteering & # 8212; this is the ultimate expression of the main goal of the existence of the United Nations “# 8230; (Kofi Anan, UN Secretary-General)
I always treated volunteerism as someone strange, incomprehensible phenomenon. Well, yes, I understand, there is such a “work for free” that is of some use to You, or you have to do it like that: student practice, unpaid overtime, forgotten “potatoes”, even our good old subbotnik in the end.
And what holds people standing at various sporting events, giving out water, or collecting donations for any needs, and banal pressing buttons at traffic lights, when children go to school? For me it was always strange, but for an ordinary Australian and, according to Natalia, a German, and as I understand it, for any other European, volunteering is just as normal a social phenomenon as learning, work, hobbies, etc.
And the reason for my misunderstanding is rather purely national. Too long to see in Russia was serfdom, when our ancestors worked for the uncle, not even owning themselves, and, having freed themselves from this, they punished the descendants of the strict attitude never to repeat mistakes and do only those things that are of benefit to us and benefit .
Of course, I summarized. And there are a lot of exceptions. It’s not necessary to go far – my mother lives for others all his life. How much she bandaged for free, how many tonsure, how much she fed, the mind is not understandable! But most of us still think a hundred times before doing something without gaining self, and I’m no exception.
Remember when you last did something for nothing? Not when someone asked you to help someone, and you did it for friendship or for any other reason, not for the sake of reference for yourself, but in general just like that? For example, they went and gave blood. Not because a colleague at work had a second cousin’s husband’s sister urgently needed an operation and needed a 2nd positive Rh group, and you just have this, but just like that ?! To donate blood is help, but still not volunteering.
Watch the movie “Always Say Yes”? There was a story when the hero of Jim Carey once again “said Yes” and distributed food to people without a specific place of residence. This is called volunteering. Help in the home of the elderly or disabled is also from this series. And that’s what many in Australia do. Moreover, both adults and children are volunteers.
This is a very mass phenomenon, which brings up in people the right qualities of mutual assistance, support, understanding, and form a nation in which not only money interests people. Something like this the communists were trying to develop in our country, only the approach was, in my opinion, not the best.
In Australia there is a website, and for our, entirely dedicated to the search for volunteering:
I looked at the Runet, but I have not found anything like it in Russia yet. Is that a couple of sites in & # 171; in contact & # 187; several groups that are dedicated to volunteering abroad. And for the good of your people & # 8212; with this how to be?
A few world statistics about volunteers (
Several figures from the development of the volunteer movement of the 80-90s of the last century. 1987 & # 8212; 80 million volunteers, in 1995 more than 93 million, 1998. & # 8212; more than 109 million people participated in the volunteer movement.
Eight people out of ten say they have become volunteers out of a feeling of deep compassion for people in need. More than three-fourths of all respondents were interested in the specific task set in the volunteer project. About 70% of volunteers participate in volunteer programs in order to gain a new perspective on life, people, work.
19% of the adult population of France participated in volunteer actions at least once in their lives. Of these, 60% regularly participate in volunteer work, giving it more than 20 hours a month. 46% of the respondents said that they became volunteers, because they feel a great desire to help others.
Every third German, & # 8212; which is 34% of the population of Germany, & # 8212; is a volunteer, devoting more than 15 hours a month to volunteer associations, projects and self-help groups. % of the population consider volunteering a unique opportunity to gain life’s knowledge and experience.
26% of Japanese have experience of volunteering in the past. Of these, 48% believe that volunteer work is very useful for personal growth and society as a whole.
About 33% of the population of Ireland is a volunteer. The total amount of time given for volunteer work is 96,454 working hours per year. 72% of the population believes that volunteers do something that can never be done by hands of paid employees.
I do not want to look like such a messiah and try to guide the way true, because It’s still far from it :), so I’ll just share my experience of volunteering.
Surely, you heard about the terrible fires in Australia 2 years ago. One of the most destructive in its history occurred on February 7, 2009. Throughout January 2009 there was a lot of heat. For a month and a half, not a millimeter of precipitation fell. The temperature reached 47 degrees Celsius. And on February 7 a small part of the forest was lit up in 100 km. from the center of Melbourne.
On that day, the conditions for the spread of the fire were ideal. The strongest heat and almost hurricane wind of 100 km / h did their terrible thing. In a matter of hours, the fire spread out over a vast territory. People did not even have time to run out of houses. The temperature in the epicenter of the fire rose more than 2000 degrees.
Machines in the garages completely melted. People tried to hide in huge barrels of water, but the fire boiled water. As a result, 173 people were killed, 500 were wounded with varying degrees of severity, more than 2,000 houses were burned and another 2,000 were damaged. 8000 people were homeless.
We watch the news on TV. Tsunami in Thailand & # 8212; hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded, tsunami in Japan & # 8212; tens of thousands. These are terrible numbers & # 8230; But for us they will remain them. And to really understand what it is, we will never be able to. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with people who miraculously escaped death and believe me, everything inside me contracted when I listened to their story. Well, yes, about everything in order.
I was tempted to fan myself for a long time. And in the corporate newspaper I read that volunteers are needed for various events. Holden in all tries to be environmentally friendly and, accordingly, day after day pass different kinds of shares.
So recently in the middle of a corporate cafe one of our cars with a body, so-called yut was put. And the inscription, a la “throw your old cell, and we’ll plant a tree for you.” Duck for a couple of weeks typed the full body of all sorts of different old mobile phones. I do not know what they do with these phones and why they plant trees instead of devices, but such actions are held constantly, and I have seen the same things in shopping centers more than once.
This time, Holden helped different green organizations plant trees, and I fit in without thinking. On the eve of the event, I received a letter with the address where to go, the timetable, what to take, etc.
On the appointed day, I jumped into the car and went to do good. We had to travel 50 kilometers across the city. Once it was cloudy and windy, even the rain was a little spattering. An hour later I was parked next to a lonely building a la barn. Around the trees were entirely with black trunks, but already with a lot of green leaves.
Nearly there was a construction of an apartment house. A little further rose some strange wooden construction from the pillars stuck in a circle and a platform at an altitude of 4-5 meters from the ground. Girls from the personnel department met and sent to the barn, where tea, coffee, sweets and masters waited for us. Stella and Alan are very kind smiling people with sad eyes.
Before starting work, they briefly told the background, what kind of place and what happened here. They own a fairly large area, more than 20 hectares of forest. But they are not farmers, the whole forest is untouched lies in the middle of picturesque hills.
Stella more than 20 years was engaged in the fact that she treated animals, mostly shot down on the roads, and let them live in this forest. Animals were brought to them all and from everywhere. More than 800 kangaroos, wombats, wallabies and koalas were saved and groomed by these people. But what is most interesting at your own expense!
These people did not take money from anyone, and even the state did not help. for this it was required to observe a cloud of regulations and fulfill various obligations, but Stella and Alan just loved and wanted to help animals, so they waved at all and did it for the soul.
Alan has his own business (he did not go into details of what), which brings them money, and this is all their hobby. But on the same day, February 7, 2009, everything was destroyed.
After the devastating fire that went on their land, only one wombat and two kangaroos survived, and they still do not understand how they managed to survive. The house and all the lodges burned down in minutes. The guys only miraculously managed to jump out of the conflagration by car. They say there was a feeling that the war was all around, everything was on fire, the cars on the roadside were all on fire, even dead people and animals on the road had to go around & # 8230; uzhos.
Alan shows a set of kitchen utensils. The silverware fused into one large metal pancake. To melt the metal to such a degree, the temperature of the blast furnace is needed. They escaped from the house in such a way that only the heels glittered, correspondingly, all the property was burned down. No documents, no photos for memory, no clothes, nothing left.
The government as could helped, plus something covered by insurance, but most importantly their “children”, whom they so carefully nursed – all died and they can not be returned. Most of all I was amazed by their willpower. Literally in a month they built a small hut on the ashes and began to build a building. there is no house! And a new “hospital for animals.” They say almost all the money for insurance went to the construction of premises for their pets. Only after that they began to build a house for themselves.
Now things have gone on the mend. They are assisted by several funds and organizations such as Holden. Animals also arrive.
In the “barn”, where we had breakfast, sat a girl with a bag that looked like a pillow, and from it stuck out a small black nose with beady eyes.
It turned out that this is a small kangaren, who was left without a mother there. Absolutely gullible, everyone approached him stroking, scratching, he only frowned with pleasure.
Immediately other kangaroos, absolutely domesticated, had their names. This name is Maya.
After these stories, the desire to help these people has doubled.
Alan told the plan of the work. He is building a dwelling for koalas (a strange wooden structure of columns and a platform) and it was necessary to plant bushes around this structure.
They loaded the boxes with the seedlings into the cart. They took scoops and shovels, put on gloves and went ahead.
We were 12 young hard workers and we coped with the task for one and a half to two hours. Then another hour we helped remove the waste from the construction of a “house for koalas”.
That’s all. I was even a little upset, because. forces, desire, and energy, there was a pile and a little bit of mountain.
We drank tea once more. Finished all the sweets. Alan and Stella told a couple more stories from life, and we slowly began to get ready to go home.
Thanking each other for everything, I, full of thoughts and reflections, went home.
This experience has strongly influenced my attitude to “free work”, and I am sure that I will continue to try to help people, which I sincerely wish for you.
Your Nata and Thema.
P.S. One more kind of volunteering in Australia can be found here:
Roots are not in serfdom & # 8212; we knew about him only from textbooks edited by the CPSU (b)! We were deceived for too long: under the beautiful slogans we were exploited in the most unscrupulous and merciless way. And what happened to those who tried to protest? it already knows everything, but others help more often not the richest, but rather according to the principle of “Who asked himself for the night”. will soon understand another! (Favorite children’s fairy tale “Cat’s House” by S. Marshak)
That’s really really no one from the disaster is immune! Therefore, in my opinion, one must manage to do good today, because tomorrow one of us may not come, but in the memory of people there are not villas and ferarri, but the good that you managed to do, help, encourage, feed, share & # 8230;
Very good post, makes you think!
Alexey, thanks for the kind words!
I want to try, 32 years of veterinary education & # 8212; I love the field of agronomy and veterinary medicine.
In general, cheerful, sociable & # 8212; I would like to go.
We live in Australia, we travel a lot – both on the Australian continent and around the world.
The blog “Australia and not only” is our photo-sketches about all interesting things happening with us on our everyday lives and numerous trips.