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Why volunteering is important to me

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                    By Youth Ambassador Indi Sira

From a very young age, I have always been involved in voluntary activities in which I have gained a tremendous amount of skills and experiences. At the age of 9 I volunteered with ‘Amrit Vela’ radio station. Through this, I learnt huge amount from people of various faiths and communities about their perceptions and attitudes on various issues such as domestic affairs, which has underpinned my understanding of how government policies affect different groups in society. My interest in the charity sector led me to volunteer for a few months at Amnesty International which was an eye opening experience. It gave a useful insight into how NGOs function and taught how vital experience is in terms of pursing your career goals. However the importance of ‘gaining experiences’ in my view are not promoted enough in educational institutions. In many cases experience, not a degree comes first for employers.

I am passionate about global development in which the second UN Millennium Development goal, ‘Achieve universal primary education’ holds an enormous amount of significance to me. I personally believe that every child should have the right to be educated and pursue their dreams. However a vast amount of deprived communities lack the facilities and infrastructure to provide a child with knowledge. Education is a fundamental right and can in essence help eradicate poverty and create a sustainable future for young people. It will enable children to explore their interests in many ways along with allowing them to grow in a natural and positive environment.

This ambition of mine was heightened during my 5 week expedition to Malaysia. I was able to converse with the children living in the village, who stressed the importance of wanting to obtain a good education regarding their future. However they lacked the resources and facilities which are an essential part to receiving a good education. This experience has inspired me to do more for my community and I am currently working with local schools in my area in regards to sustainability initiatives.

My dream is to hopefully start with creating a basic foundation in order to collate all my ideas and carry out extensive research in regards to the key areas that need to be tackled in relation to education deprivation internationally. I want to gain as much experience as possible by working in various institutions in the UK along with achieving a profound insight into the factors hindering students in the UK to fulfill their career aspirations.

Being a Youth Ambassador at YEUK is a fantastic opportunity enabling me to realise the gaps within the system. It also highlights the problems young people are facing in getting into work and starting to suffer from lack of motivation and determination. In order to make a difference, it is essential in my view to try and help young people realise their true potential and guide them towards the right direction. I have always learnt that hard work and perseverance always pay off in the end.

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