The Road To Inclusivity & Diversity in Volunteerism: Compensation and Meaningful Opportunities.
Anuradha Withanachchi
13 ජනවාරි 2020

There are more than 1.5 billion youth volunteers (between 15 & 24 years of age) in the world and they are known to be the biggest group of volunteers in history. While this record is a brilliant achievement in focusing youth in the work towards social issues, this also brings us to a question about how inclusive and diverse this group is.  One of the main reasons that set the stage for this question is the lack of compensation for volunteer contributions.

Volunteerism by definition is freely offering one’s time and skills to the betterment of one’s community. However, lack of compensation for volunteer contributions indicates a disregard of the socioeconomic disparities that surround a majority of our communities that prevent them from volunteering. It’s a righteous course to follow but there are obvious practical concerns like putting food on the table and paying rent that bar a majority of our community members from taking part. In other words, it’s a disregard for actual inclusivity and diversity in the work we do.

By now, we all know that inclusivity and diversity is the key to sustainable development and that volunteers are significant in our march towards the said development. We also know that the work we do in the developmental field mostly benefit marginalized demographics and communities. But if the forces making such sizeable contributions to the betterment of the said communities lack the nuanced experiences and lived knowledge that holds the key to their issues by their exclusion, then how sustainable are our solutions? Let’s face it, the current scope of volunteerism in the modern world is for the most part exclusive. But it’s also our responsibility to improve that scope to meet the needs of those that are vulnerable while also fostering an environment that people from all backgrounds can take part in to provide solutions for social issues and sustainable development. After all, these issues directly concern all the trenches of our societies.

Some of the first steps to ensuring that inclusion and diversity aren’t just performative buzzwords are; providing compensation for contributions, provision of meaningful volunteer opportunities and the provision of concrete learning outcomes with all volunteer opportunities. Setting these standards via policy and regulatory bodies is imperative in ensuring that individuals that wish to engage in our civic issues as volunteers are meaningfully engaged, are properly compensated and are benefitting via learning outcomes.

 

Anuradha Withanachchi
13 ජනවාරි 2020
Anuradha Withanachchi is a UN Youth Volunteer in Knowledge Management, as a part of the Climate Change Adaptation Project II at UNDP Sri Lanka

අදහස්(0)

  • පිවිසෙන්න හෝ ලියාපදිංචි වන්න
  • මුරපදය අමතක ද
  • නව මුරපදය
  • ලියාපදිංචි වන්න
ඔබේ තොරතුරු පහතින් ඇතුළත් කරන්න
ඔබේ තොරතුරු පහතින් ඇතුළත් කරන්න
ඔබගේ මුරපදය නැති වී තිබේද? කරුණාකර ඔබේ පරිශීලක නාමය හෝ විද්‍යුත් තැපැල් ලිපිනය ඇතුළත් කරන්න. විද්‍යුත් තැපෑල හරහා නව මුරපදයක් සෑදීමට ඔබට සබැඳියක් ලැබෙනු ඇත.