Recently, I got a message of The Volunteer Centre Amsterdam about my voluntary work. They were really enthusiastic about what I do and were interested in featuring me on their website. I am very pleased to be seen by them and to be asked for such great thing. I had an interview with Linda at the Amsterdam Library, which was such a nice chat! We spoke hours about volunteering, helping others and the way our generation persuades the world today. After that, we arranged a photoshoot at the Foodbank in Amsterdam. Huub made some beautiful and interesting shots which results in about me and my voluntary work. I hope you like to read it – I translated it from Dutch into English.
“She teaches me how to live unexpectically”
Voluntary work to Eva (29) always seemed a bit dusty, dull and boring. But in the recent months she has done 1001 different voluntary jobs, and her thoughts are: Why haven’t I made time for this earlier? Why did I always postpone it? “Nowadays I even do voluntary work on vacation!”
“As a child I regularly traveled with my parents. We always went to luxurious destinations such as New York and Miami. I didn’t go to countries with a lower standard of living. Until two years ago, I traveled through Mexico. I saw so much poverty there. It really opened my eyes and prompted me to take action: what can I do to make the world a bit better? ”
“Okay, I admit, I always had prejudices about volunteering. I wanted to do it, but it also seemed dusty. And dull. And boring. Helping in a thrift store, that seemed to me like the standard volunteer activity. But now I know: there is so much more! And doing it makes me so happy! “
Food is the basis
“I have done many different tasks in recent months. Such as sports with seniors, decorating Christmas trees in a elderly home, serving coffeee in a homeless shelter, cooking for local residents, helping students with their homework and supervising activities for children in the asylum seekers center. I also did a lot of work for the Food Bank, which really melts my heart. Food is the basis; a vital necessity. I therefore contribute to their work by helping to pack the food packages. They receive products from supermarkets and food boxes such as Hello Fresh. We make the best possible mix in terms of products. We then hand out the packages to the people who really need it. We receive so many happy and grateful responses. We are really helping them move forward and it’s heartwarming. ”
Helping dogs on vacation
“Why haven’t I made time for this before? Why did I always postpone it? Such a shame, in retrospect! It really enriches my life. Nowadays I also do Voluntourism: volunteering during my vacation. For example, I recently walked dogs for a day in a dog shelter in Antigua, Guatemala. Its beautiful to get to know the city in a different way. “
“I am from a generation in which we have high expectations of life. We are young, life is manageable and the possibilities are endless. It is something good, but sometimes it is also great to take life as it comes. To live without expectations. I learned this from “Auntie Nel”, a beautiful person, with whom I regularly play games in the elderly home. I have no idea why she’s living there, because she’s sharp as a knife. Whenever I come in, she immediately knows who I am. And she’s so positive. Her husband has passed away, she never had children, but she takes life as it comes. She likes everything that comes along, never complains. She’s always happy with everything that is organized for her. She really shows me what an unexpected living means, I am very grateful I got to learn that from her. ”
What makes you happy?
“I would like to make the world a better place, even if it is just a small bit. Everything helps. Many people don’t know, but there are so many options to help. Everything you like to do, is possible to do voluntary. Do you like sewing and knitting? Join a creative club. Do you like cooking? There are so many options to get involved in cooking for locals. Do you have an active lifestyle? Become a sports buddy or go hiking with an elderly person. Are you good with telephones and computers? Help people who don’t know how to send an app or how to use Excel. Isn’t it great to help someone with something you really like to do?! Even if you do it only once. And I know from my own experience: it is really much more fun than you think from the sidelines. ”
Photos: Huub Zeeman
This article can be found in Dutch on the website of VCA or at ‘Media‘