Read how Amira became a volunteer
My name is Amira. As a young girl, I always thought about ways to give back to my community. I wanted my community to be a better place to live in. I knew somebody had to do something about it. That somebody was me.
And so, I decided to become a volunteer for a group in my community. But my parents were not in support especially my dad. He called it “stressful”. He said it would distract me from focusing on my education.
I was asked to forget about volunteering. I had no choice but to obey. I felt so bad. But I made up my mind not give up.
After I graduated from the university and was getting ready for my national youth service corps (NYSC) I approached my dad.
I told him how my service year would be a perfect time to volunteer. I asked for his permission to fulfill my longtime dream. To my surprise, he agreed.
He even offered to help me get an NGO (Non-Governmental Organisation) to work with. He called a few friends and one of them happened to know a place close to where I was posted to. Luckily for me, they were open to having me join them.
This marked the beginning of my journey into community development.
It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. My dad was right. It was so stressful. I had to learn a lot in a short period of time.
But I didn’t let the challenges discourage me. I remained focused. Plus, I needed to prove to myself and parents that I could handle the experience.
Although there were days I wanted to quit. But thanks to the support from my mum and some of my colleagues I was able to handle the stress.
The experience was an eye opener for me. I learnt new things like how to use the computer and Microsoft word. I even learnt how to speak in public and this helped me build my confidence.
Most importantly, I learnt that I could do anything as long as I was dedicated and passionate.
It has been years since I volunteered in that community but I have used the experiences I got there to achieve different things.
Are you like Amira? Is there something you are passionate about? Work towards it. Challenges might come, that’s normal. Stay strong.
And if like Amira your parents don’t support you, it’s okay. Try talking to them. Find out why they are not in support of your dream. Find out what they want you to do instead. Get started with it. With time your obedience might win them over.
Another thing you can do is to talk to a trusted adult like an aunt/uncle/grandparent/ or just anyone your parents respect. Ask them to speak to your parents for you.
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