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Shahzeb Khan

Haritha Sriram

Sharmishtha Desai

February 5th, 2021

Student Volunteering Week: Part 1

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Shahzeb Khan

Haritha Sriram

Sharmishtha Desai

February 5th, 2021

Student Volunteering Week: Part 1

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

One of the key themes of Student Volunteering Week is to celebrate the efforts that students have put into their volunteering. And given that the year has been especially difficult, we decided to interview student volunteers so they could share with you all their volunteering journey and achievements. Hear from our volunteers and learn what drives their volunteering ambitions, what work they’ve gotten involved with and even some tips they’d like to share with aspiring volunteers. Here we go!

MARIE OGINO (BSc Economics, 2022)

What kind of volunteering have you been involved in during the past year?

Before COVID-19, I used to volunteer by tutoring local children and helping out at soup kitchens. When the pandemic struck, this was no longer possible. To make matters worse, COVID-19 is disproportionately devastating certain communities, and it seemed that in a time of great need, there was not much we could do. Fortunately though, many charities began to move their operations online. In the past year, I have started a GoFundMe page and built a website to collect proceeds for my school’s local partner charities, and I have started to tutor online.

If a student walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Lockdown has been incredibly challenging for many of us, and I believe it is important that we come together and support one another. Try volunteering out and see how it goes!- I promise it will be worth your while.

Do you have any opportunities or ideas that you want people looking to volunteer to be aware of ?

The LSE UNSOC is compiling recipes to create an LSE International Cookbook! The proceeds from selling the book will go to the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation. Also, I’m ~working~ on a project for the Little Princess Trust, which provides free wigs to kids and young people who have lost their hair to cancer treatment. In other words, I’m letting my hair grow so that I can donate a couple of inches to the trust. I think both these projects are fun, easy to do and still have a wonderful impact! :))

SHAHZEB KHAN (BSc in Actuarial Science, 2023)

What was the most rewarding thing about the volunteering work that you did?

The most rewarding thing about my volunteering was definitely the fact that I was able to learn new skills while contributing back to my community. Through volunteering, I was able to try new things such as event management, fundraising, etc. which helped my development immensely. Volunteering also made me more aware of the problems afflicting our society and motivated me to work harder to fight these issues.

Could you describe one of the best moments in your volunteering experience?

When I was living in Pakistan, I would distribute food to the homeless in my community. As a result, I was able to meet many different people and listen to their stories and struggles. Hearing about their lives and realizing that the work I was doing was actually helping make a difference greatly inspired me and was one of the best moments in my volunteering experience.

If a student walked up to asking for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to volunteer! I know when I first came to LSE, I was very hesitant about volunteering at first because I was scared it would be too much responsibility and I would not be able to manage it with my studies. However, after I started volunteering, I realized just how flexible everything was so I could tailor the workload to my academics perfectly. Everyone was also super friendly and supportive so instead of being overburdened with work, I enjoyed my time volunteering quite a lot!

MARIANNE HII (BSc in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, 2023)

What was the most rewarding thing about the volunteering work that you did?

I volunteered with Action Tutoring in my first year of university to tutor secondary school students in mathematics. It was rewarding helping students learn how to solve maths problems. I found it very meaningful to be able to contribute in some way to someone developing his/her skills, learning something new, and achieving his/her goals. As a student, I think the feeling of understanding a concept is empowering, and it’s fulfilling to be able to help others in their own studies.

Could you describe one of the best moments in your volunteering experience?

One of the best moments in my volunteering experience would be whenever a student I was tutoring successfully solved a maths problem we were working on. When that happens, I feel that I have managed to pass on what I’ve learnt to others, and the student has successfully learnt something.

Do you have any opportunities or ideas that you want people looking to volunteer to be aware of?

The LSE Career Hub website is a good starting point to search for volunteering opportunities which you’d be interested in. Volunteering can be a chance to not only use your skills and knowledge to contribute to a project larger than yourself, but also an opportunity to pick up new skills and learn more about different organizations and the work they do. The LSE Volunteering Centre also holds one-off volunteering events which you can keep an eye out for.

Maria Hellel (BSc in Accounting & Finance, 2023)

What kind of volunteering have you been involved in during the past year?

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, my volunteering has looked a little different this past year. I have had to find opportunities to volunteer and connect with others whilst staying at home. I got creative with my flatmates; we made and wrote personal cards to children in hospital with the help of Postpals charity. As a student academic mentor, I was also able to offer support to incoming LSE students through Zoom!

What was the motivation behind it?

My main motivation for volunteering is to commit to something meaningful and make a positive difference, no matter how small. I find it really fulfilling to be able to give back to the community and contribute to causes that I care about. During the past year, volunteering has also helped me to reflect, take time away from my studies, and has encouraged me to interact with new people.

What were some challenges that you faced while volunteering, especially during a pandemic?

Meeting inspiring and friendly people in my community is one of my favourite things about volunteering, therefore the inability to meet people in-person and to see first-hand how your actions have impacted others is difficult. However, I am grateful that virtual volunteering has still allowed me to get involved with different initiatives and meet new people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met, such as the other amazing Student Volunteering Ambassadors!

Haritha Sriram (MSc Management, 2022)

What kind of volunteering have you been involved in during the past year?

Recently, I have been involved with a group in collecting dry rations (groceries) and handing it over to the people who have lost their jobs, regularly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, for individuals who are alone and have to be in self-isolation as they have been affected with Covid-19, we have been offering them medicines, food and other essentials.

What was the motivation behind it?

Whenever I was involved in fundraising, philanthropic or volunteering activities, the happiness among the receivers provided abundant joy and positivity. In the current situation, everyone in our community has been affected and requires support. As a student, I felt that it is our responsibility to do at least a small deed and make a difference in someone’s life.

If a student walked up to asking for your advice, and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

My advice is that please don’t consider volunteering is an extremely time-consuming activity. Volunteering promotes personal growth and increases self-confidence. Once you have experienced the act of volunteering, you would embrace it. LSE Volunteer Centre can help you identify the right kind of activity suitable for yourself, and there are many one-off volunteering activities through which you can make a difference.

Fengfang Zhang (BSc in Politic & Economics, 2023)

What was the motivation behind it?

I thought I was privileged enough to be able to continue studying in such a period and I wanted to do my part for society, no matter how small it is. A little goes a long way.

What were some challenges that you faced while volunteering, especially during a pandemic?

It’s similar to what people experience when they attend work or school via zoom, perhaps zoom fatigue since we have to work virtually. But hey, hopefully there’ll be one day that we can all meet safely again!

What kind of volunteering have you been involved in during the past year?

During Michaelmas Term, I spent two days a week at WaterAid UK as a corporate research volunteer. I helped with collecting information that would assist the business development team in the cultivation of prospective donors. Although I worked remotely, my supervisor, Cass, did everything she could to make sure I learnt more about the organisation and made me feel at home.

 

 

 

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About the author

Shahzeb Khan

Student Volunteering Ambassador 2020-21 BSc Acturarial Science (2022)

Haritha Sriram

Student Volunteering Ambassador 2020-21 Global MSc in Management (2022)

Sharmishtha Desai

Student Volunteering Ambassador 2020-21 BSc in Economics (2021)

Posted In: Charity | International organisation | LSE Careers | NGO | Volunteer Centre

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