Shamima Akter Ela: "Volunteering is a big opportunity for making a big change."
Interview with Shamima Akter Ela, a student from Bangladesh who wants to tell us about her experience of volunteering.
I am Shamima Akter Ela, i am from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I am a student who loves volunteering a lot. I am from a village which is now developed as city but the mindset of people are yet the same, it’s been a challenge for me to be an volunteer being from the conservative society.
How has volunteering changed your life?
I have started volunteering from a long time but officially from 2018, it changed my mind and perception about everything and showed me a new way of thinking. I used to teach the street kids to ensure that they are getting some help from me, online volunteering, and discussing about mental health with most of the people who are struggling in their life.
By joining an NGO i have learnt more . Most people has different ideas about volunteering and some doesn’t want to try thinking that it’s just waste of time and money. But i have learnt that in our life we get sad about so many things but there are so many people in the world who doesn’t even get a single little help and still they are surviving.
Thankfully working with the international volunteer i have learnt so many new things and new methods by which i can help others.
Being a girl from the village and do volunteering isn’t easy, because people and society doesn’t approve. But my willing to help nature helped me to break the barrier and yes it indeed helped me to be more motivated to help more girls to break the barrier and do something in life.
What have you learned from being a volunteer ?
Volunteering has taught me so many things and I am learning everyday.
Developing new skills, discovering new passions, gaining new insights about myself and the world around me - volunteering covers it all. Volunteering can mean learning about different communities, organizations, and fields, as well as learning more about myself that what I can do and what will be my aim in life. I have learnt this beautiful word ‘empathy’.
And it helped me to learn how we shouldn’t judge others without knowing the reality. Everybody has their own story and people has for struggled so many things.
It taught me to listen more and more because everyone has their journey and it’s extraordinary.
I have also learnt that with the right mindset, these small actions can be seen to have far-reaching implication,A simple smile can permeate language, cultural, economic, or other barriers and can relay the message that you care. When in doubt, flash those pearly whites and see the magic.
In what ways (s) do you think volunteering can make a difference?
Volunteering is a big opportunity for making a big change. It provides comfort and support to all people.by giving the hand of volunteering it helps to make a big community of help and so many things which leads by kindness.
In today’s world volunteering is one of the great thing to create a big change. Imagine all are coming together with the mindset to do a change and definitely there will be a change for sure.
It can break the barriers, break the typical mindset of people in so many ways and that’s why no matter how many words i put but volunteerism itself is a word for big change. Volunteering and freely giving your time, energy, and resources to people and causes around the world can create change on a global scale.
It is incredible to think that one person’s efforts can change the life of someone else somewhere in the world , it helps to learn New skills and opportunities. making a positive difference to another person, greater sense of life-purpose and so on.
What message would you send to people who still hesitate to volunteer?
Volunteering is a opportunity to learn as well as share. So those who loves to help it’s a great opportunity to open and explore new place, new language and new people. In bangla we say ‘দশে মিলে করি কাজ, হারি যিতি নাহি লাজ; দশের লাঠি একের বোঝা।
Many drops make light work . The quicker the job will get done; the more people that are involved in a job’.
So i want to give this message to the people that don’t expect any money, because you are going to get more things, a nice smile of yours will make others life beautiful, and some people are there, waiting for your support all you need is to give your hand to support and it doesn’t need to be big.
And listen, their stories it’s amazing.
All the best.
We thank Shamima for taking the time to share her story. She is truly breaking barriers and inspiring us all.