Short-term volunteers + large hearts = big impacts.

By Abbie Leadbitter

A famous quote, from Elizabeth Andrew, that I believe depicts the meaning of a volunteer: “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”.

In the 21st century, we live in a global world where communication is instant, money can be transferred in seconds and you can travel from opposite ends of the world in a day. Yet there are still many issues that effect millions of people globally. The FutureSense Foundation (FSF) aims to work towards achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG’s) in their six international hubs. FSF are committed to delivering the UN SDG’s through our long-term programmes, delivered by volunteers, focusing on Education, Health and Livelihood support.

The question is, can short-term volunteering have long-term impacts?

The FutureSense Foundation believe that yes, short-term volunteering can have long-term impacts. With a team based in every country, FSF focus on understanding the community needs and developing a range of long-term programmes to address the issues identified. FSF always work with local partners to both ensure we are understanding the needs correctly and developing programmes that are relevant to the context in which we are working.

 

Working in partnership with our volunteering programmes, like Challenges Abroad, we seek to attract individuals that can help deliver the programmes we have structured. Volunteers play a significant role not only in delivering our programmes but also in helping us continue to develop new capabilities and even monitor and evaluate the impact we are having in the communities we support.

FSF develop a long-term vision and goals in each country we work, and our volunteers help us in achieving this long-term development, due to their unique abilities, skills and the hours they dedicate. The long-term development that occurs is both in-line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals as defined for each country and addressing the needs of the local community.

This model also focuses both on the individuals who volunteers with us and the communities we support ensuring a sharing of skills and learning for both. FSF are passionate and committed towards building the next generation of change-makers and promoting the values of global citizenship.

 

To conclude, the FutureSense Foundation strongly believe that short-term volunteering does have long-term impacts in the communities we work within and support. This is because we focus our attention and work on the needs and issues of our communities and aim to address these with the help of our volunteers who have the guidance and support of our in-country staff who are based overseas year-round.

I will leave you with a quote by Martin Luther King. Jr: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?”.

Do you want to make a difference overseas? Thinking about getting involved in short-term volunteering? Check out some of our Challenges by clicking here.