The United Nations defines volunteerism as ‘a powerful means of engaging people in tackling development challenges worldwide [where] everyone can contribute their time, skills and knowledge through volunteer action, and their combined efforts can be a significant force for achieving peace and development’ (UNV, 2015). The origins of volunteering date back centuries and it is believed that 18th century America is the most representative period for the beginning of volunteerism.
Three centuries later, volunteerism still exists and its notions have widened. Today, the UN has created a platform where people from all over the world can contribute to the greater good and all the work can be done online – the UN Online Volunteering service. So, here we are now, having the opportunity to help people from the developing world (in particular) just by surfing the Internet. Many organisations from around the Globe have found help through this platform, by allowing online volunteers to make things happen in the real world, by using the virtual one. Such is the case of Kitega Community Centre in Uganda, Africa.
As described in a previous article, KitegaCC takes care of children with disabilities and works towards improving their community. In order to fasten the progress, several opportunities for online volunteers have been made available and so, a very international team of volunteers has been formed. 13 people from 10 countries (Samoa, Canada, Romania, Angola, India, Kuwait, Pakistan, Uganda, Kenya and the United Kingdom), aged between 22 and 35, students and professionals were motivated to apply for an online opportunity at KitegaCC.
In what follows, Confessions from the members of KitegaCC Online Volunteering Team are going to be presented, so that a wider audience can get a glimpse of what online volunteering means for the ones who do it and how rewarding it is.