Anybody can help other people in one way or another if they want to. As the saying goes: „to be able to help the thirsty, you don’t need a golden chalice or a goblet decorated with pearls.” You can give a hand in your everyday life, at home, in your neighbourhood or in your city in Hungary. You can help a blind person cross the road, give a coin to a homeless person, assist an elderly person get off the tram, but you can even help by signing a petition to support a cause you believe in. If you like doing sports or doing exercises and you can fit it into your schedule, why not volunteer at a charity sports event? You can also always donate your unwanted clothes, old toys or food to a charity service or organisation. Have you ever thought of donating blood voluntarily? If you can do it and you are not afraid of it, why not do it? It might be a donation that is worth more than all the money, clothes and objects: it’s your own blood!
For example on civil information portals, like the Nonprofit Portál, Szociális net hálózat, RomaPage, 3Sz – Szociális Szakmai Szövetség pages, on PályázatFigyelő, ProHáló or on the Civil Információs Oldal.
Luckily, in Hungary, you can participate in a lot of great voluntary projects and if you want to be useful, you don’t have to search a lot for the best way to help others.
Volunteering is sexy – claim the members of the Hallgatók a Közösség Szolgálatában (HaKöSz), who set as their primary goal to bring university students closer to the real problems of society and to help turn the future’s decision makers into responsible citizens who show solidarity towards the community. In the programmes of KözJóTett, volunteers can dedicate their attention to some deprived members of society for a few hours and can try themselves out in activities which may differ a great deal from their everyday tasks.
The Hungarian event called 72 hours without compromise, which took place for the sixth on 10th and 13th October 2013, was a great success again. The project was organised by the Ökumenikus Ifjúsági Alapítvány with the encouragement of three historic churches of the Christian religion (Roman Catholic, Reformed and Evangelic). All over the country, groups of young people carried out tasks that benefit the public for three days. Some of the tasks included the redecoration and refurbishment of institutions and playgrounds, cleaning forests, social assistance and the organisation of cultural shows for different audiences (disabled, elderly, etc.).
Depending on whether you are looking for locations and organisations in Hungary or abroad, there are plenty of opportunities to choose from.
If you would like to volunteer in Hungary, you can find out more about the offers in the database of ÖKA, where you can even register in the system. Onlinevolunteering is the volunteering website of the United Nations. An example to follow is the American website VolunteerMatch, where you can get a glimpse into how volunteering is organised professionally. The website serves as a matchmaking forum between good-will and organisations offering opportunities, since the website offers a free service for linking up volunteers and non-profit organisations. The only problem is that it is only available for American volunteers and organisations.
Or would you rather see the world? Are you any good at English or Dutch? Register as a volunteer on Freeflex, a Dutch volunteering database or on Do-it: Volunteering Opportunities, which is England’s biggest online database of volunteering. Moreover, Hacesfalta is a Spanish volunteering database, while Go Volunteer is a multilingual database of volunteering opportunities.
You are also needed somewhere! Go for it! You can only win!
Translated by Judit Molnár