By Calli Miller, AFAP volunteer.
It’s National Volunteer Week in Australia, and I couldn’t be happier to be volunteering at AFAP Action on Poverty.
My name is Calli and I recently graduated from a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Anthropology and Hispanic Studies. It was a fortunate turn of events that uncovered my passion to enter the Not-for-Profit sector and contribute to helping others around the world. It started with a spontaneous trip to Nepal, where I volunteered in an orphanage for three months. Although I had been to other developing countries previously, this experience really opened up my eyes to the realities of living in poverty and the impact it has on children, their families and the community at large.
I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to help others overcome adversity.
I was introduced to the inspiring work of AFAP through a special event they hosted back in 2012. The more I heard about the empowering programs run by AFAP, the more interested and eager I was to get involved in their work. Since then, I employed similar tendencies to a teen girl stalking her high school crush on social media. Except a lot less creepy, and far more productive, because it’s actually paid off!
I am now volunteering twice a week in the Communications, Marketing and Fundraising department and I absolutely love it. It is really exciting to have the opportunity to learn from professionals in the field, develop my own skillset, and put my theoretical knowledge into practice.
It is also really encouraging to hear that most of the Staff at AFAP started off as a volunteer at one time or another, even Christine Murphy, the Executive Director. She said “my first role in this sector was as a volunteer in a small organisation in Sydney. I think volunteering is a win win experience for both parties involved. The volunteer has the opportunity to learn on the job, build networks and contribute their unique skills, and for the organisation it is wonderful to be able to have people come on board who bring their enthusiasm and talent which helps us build our capacity and enables more money to go directly to the communities in need.”
Volunteering provides an indispensable means for you to learn about yourself, as well as the chance to give back to the community. I can’t wait to see what unfolds!