Have you ever heard the phrase “Be the change you want to see in this world”? This is something that has guided me for years in my life and actions, since the very first day I heard it. If you want to see something different in this world, something better, there is no one better for the job than you! The first step to solving a problem is to identify it, and if you are the one who does, you hold the responsibility to also improve it. But can you really make a difference in this world?
Volunteers are people who dedicate time and energy to improve the world, even in little things. From cleaning parks from trash to building houses for people in need, volunteers spend their time helping. By these very actions, they show the world that no task, small or big, is insignificant. This changes the perspective when it comes to so many things. You can say, OK! But still.. It’s just a volunteer. Can he/she make such a big difference in this world?
Like the drop that falls in the lake and shakes its stillness, this is the volunteer, the change maker. And
it takes just one drop to shake the lake. Sara went to Morocco last summer, to work in a project related to Women Empowerment. There, she collaborated with two other volunteers from Brazil and Kenya. The NGO had three women and two men from the local community as coworkers. The women they interacted with, through sessions and smaller projects, were around 20.
That summer, around 25 volunteers had come from around the world to their AIESEC Local Committee to participate in projects, travelling around Morocco, discovering the culinary traditions of the country, partying, talking, exchanging ideas and sharing views on different topics. Sara was amazed by this experience. Every day she went to work, she fell more in love with it and through it, she discovered she loves women’s rights so much that she thought of making it her future job.
But Sara was from a country where freedom of speech was a fact, where kids drinking alcohol was a common thing, where people not killing each other over politics was normal, where women were not killed because their husbands died. Hearing all the stories and everyday lives of her new friends made her wonder how much she knew about this world, how fair it actually was and why no one back home knew anything about all these cultures. Having this knowledge made her feel a burden inside, like all information was not to be left there, but to be shared, to be used. She had to do something about it. So she went back home and started sharing, started talking to her friends and family, made presentations in school. But still was not enough. She joined AIESEC to send herself more people abroad to learn. She joined a blog to narrate the stories of her friends. And she kept on and on. But why am I telling you all this?
Sara was one person. A girl eager to travel. She met 24 other volunteers, 20 women in need and 5 locals from the NGO. She had the chance to impact with her work, her story and her ideas 49 people. These 49 people for sure talked to at least another two each. Which means 98 more people, plus the 49, makes 147 people. One hundred forty-seven people from different countries were impact because of one volunteer and a message was spread in more than one country. How can this be considered not making a difference in this world?
In today’s society, where globalization is around the corner and we live in an interconnected world, a small action, a simple effort or situation can have a huge impact around the globe in very few hours. If stocks of a multinational fall and it has to close down offices and facilities in some countries, it immediately this means that people around the world loe their jobs. People sustaining families. One simple action caused tremendous change. Why not making this change, this action a good one?
I am Greek, and also Spanish. I am European. But most importantly I am a World Citizen! And as a citizen of this world I can make a difference in it. I can choose to impact it positively. To do something about the things I dislike and change them.
All it takes is a choice to improve the world and determination to run through it. Go to aiesec.org and make a difference for yourself.6