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Speaking out about Volunteer Work

Experiences as a Volunteer Worker, all about Volunteer Work, Volunteer Work in Zambia and more on Mywage Zambia.

Bruce Chooma, a communication consultant and media trainer, now employed with international charity Sightsavers, shared with MyWage his experience with volunteer work.

MyWage: You speak highly of volunteer work, how was your experience? 

Bruce: I joined a youth Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) called Youth Change Impact which we formed with my friends mainly from Lusaka colleges and the University of Zambia in 2004 and worked as a volunteer peer worker and counsellor. It was such an enriching experience as I got exposed to youth development programmes. It also gave me the opportunity to work with young people in some of the poorest peri-urban areas of Zambia.

MyWage: What are some of the challenges that come with being a volunteer?

Bruce: Volunteer work has its challenges in Zambia, as often times one has to part with personal savings to get the job done. It’s not all rosy and it’s important that the volunteerism in Zambia be supported by policy, and that institutions that engage volunteers are guided to ensure that the welfare of volunteers is looked into. That said, it’s always satisfying to see how through such work you learn and interact and develop your C.V. 

MyWage: Apart from developing your CV what were some of your highlights?

Bruce: Some of the greatest moments came when we managed to get small grants for HIV and AIDS, particularly from the Community Response to HIV and AIDS (CRAIDS).

Today I have developed networks in civil society and worked as a volunteer with the World Bank, supported Youth Development and Peace Network, and worked with partners supported by the American International Health Alliance in Zambia, as well as the Institute of Mass Communication Educational Trust (ZAMCOM) where I worked as assistant Gender and Media Specialist.

MyWage: What would be your word to young people out there who are looking for employment but lack experience?

Bruce: I encourage young people to consider volunteer work in between jobs or when seeking a job. It’s a competitive world but it always helps to throw oneself in the deep end.

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Find out more about Decent Work in Zambia.

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