Think globally, act locally
Pepa and Rozi love mud. They would roll around it the whole day long. They also love food and they are very friendly, which is quite surprising for people who have never had any contact with pigs. Because Pepa and Rozi are pigs. They live in a shelter in Korabiewice. Stroking their wet, velvety snouts is the best award for volunteers committing their time to homeless animals.
Walk a dog and a pig
The Korabiewice shelter is home to 300 dogs, as well numerous cats, goats, horses and a wolf. So help with feeding the animals, cleaning their boxes and paddocks is more than welcome. There are also more pleasant jobs, like cleaning the horses and brushing their manes and tails. You can also join the ‘walk the dog’ project, where you come to the shelter once or a few times a week and walk any or your favourite doggie. You stroll in a nice company of a grateful dog in a beautiful scenery of meadows and forests, get fresh air and exercise. This is a perfect solution for those who would love to have a pet, but cannot keep it at home because of allergy, lack of time or permission from parents.
The Korabiewice shelter runs a special programme for organised groups of school children and youth who can arrange a visit there.
Volunteers can work at many different shelters for animals (also these for horses run by „Viva! Akcja dla zwierząt” organisation). If you are still a minor, you should call the organisation you want to help in order to find out if you can become a volunteer or if you need a permission from the parents to do so.
Share the goodness
Karolina is 15 and tutors her peers. Natalia is also 15 and she helps children. Julia works at an after-school club. When you look at their photos, they are smiling wearing striped party hats, yet they have one more thing in common. They wear black T-shirts with a logo featuring a green leaf and red hearts and the coat of arms of Michałowice. Municipal volunteering centre in Michałowic near Warsaw was established more than a dozen years ago. It had humble beginnings, such as traditional festivities on Children's Day or Mother's Day organised by some 20 people. At some point, a volunteering club was established. Club members prepare various attractions; they invite the elderly and lonely residents of municipality for excursions to Warsaw to visit an ‘Invisible Exhibition’ guided by the blind. Young volunteers are active at three clubs established in the neighbouring towns. They mainly help their peers in doing homework, take care of young pupils after school, before their parents get back from work. They like volunteering a lot, because thanks to it they have a lot of great friends. Together, they explore Michałowice and neighbouring towns. They have a feeling that thanks to them the municipality becomes more friendly, nicer and more tidy.
Municipal volunteering centres operate across Poland. Look out for one, which is near your home.
Volunteers are also in high demand at hospitals, especially large, specialists one, where young children are treated. There are many bedridden children suffering from leukaemia and mucoviscidosis who are away from home and their parents. Quite often parents are not able to give up their work or leave other children to stay with them at the hospital. These children need to be taken care of, they need entertainment, someone to talk to, someone to play with, someone to hug them. Also parents often need support, too. This is a very special type of volunteering, as it is very difficult and demanding. You need to be mature and have enormous knowledge to do that. This is why expectations of the volunteers are very high. At the Children’s Memorial Health Institute a programme entitled
„Jestem Blisko w IPCZD” (I am nearby at the Health Institute) operates thanks to cooperation with Stowarzyszenie Centrum Wolontariatu (the Volunteering Centre Association). Only adult persons fully aware of their tasks can become volunteers under the programme. Prospective volunteers also need to be vaccinated against hepatitis B and tested for AIDS.