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Why do I volunteer?

In the blog series Volunteering is Ace Activity, we publish articles on volunteering by students who study volunteer leadership at the HUMAK Open University of Applied Sciences.

Do we inherit an imperfect world and is it our task to change it? I answer yes. We are responsible for what kind of a world we create.

In Finland, civic involvement is much easier than in many other places in the world, and we should utilize it. Through civic activities and organizations, we can highlight faults that need improvement and change. Tacit acceptance doesn´t make the world better: we must work for it. The reason why I volunteer, is to make the world better. I spend a large part of my spare time volunteering in an organization called Oikeutta eläimille (Rights for animals) and also at an animal protection center called Tuulispää. In Finland and in the world, there are so many problems as to the status, treatment, and rights of animals that I just can´t agonize quietly in my mind what horrors happen. These issues have to be brought up and changed.

This all is on my mind, always with me. Animals bring me relief. Volunteering gives me a lot. It creates hope when I see that many people work on these issues in organizations, many for free and some of them already over 20 years. I appreciate their work immensely. 

Animals rescued from mass production give me strength and motivation to volunteer in the organization. I always go back to the safe house excitedly to my lovely animal friends. They have already been rescued, but it requires many volunteers and a lot of work to offer them the best possible life. It makes me extremely happy when I get to work with these animals. It´s wonderful to see a cow frolicking in the snow or to sit in the middle of a ruminating herd of bovines in a cowshed, listening to the heartbeat of an ox. The happiness when a pig tumbles on the ground while the summer sun is shining and demands more belly scratches, the closing eyes of a chicken when she enjoys being petted. The moment when a fox that has fled from a fur farm and who now has a shelter, puts its paw on your knee and looks you in the eyes. After all that he has experienced, he still trusts a human being, even though people have been cruel to him.These precious moments are the best in my life and I´m lucky that I can volunteer like this.  

I wish there was more time for volunteering in my life. Volunteering has changed my whole life. I found values like mine in a community, even two. They include gorgeous animals and exceptionally magnificent and emphatic and caring people. I hope that through volunteering I can make even a small change in the world. Goals of change are great, but nothing happens if one doesn´t do anything. Small steps towards a better world through volunteering! Volunteering is really needed in the world and it´s great to see how eagerly people take action and how they represent the change they want to see in the world. 

Have you wondered what you could do for animals? Everybody can make a difference with everyday small acts; have a vegetarian day, concretely saving someone´s life; sponsor shelters for animals or animal rights organizations; buy cosmetics not tested with animals and therefore reduce the need of animal testing in the world; or stop buying clothes and products made of animals.   

Text is published without a name by request

The author studies volunteer leadership at HUMAK University of Applied Sciences.

Translation: Kati Merikoski

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