Monday, August 15, 2022

The spirit of volunteering

At the library auditorium, a group of UB students received volunteer certificates for their tireless work and effort.

The Guest Speaker at the award ceremony, Dr Nomsa Mbere, handed the volunteers certificates and highlighted the meaning and importance of volunteering.

“Volunteering is giving without any thank you; it teaches you humility, patience and gives wisdom,” she said.

Mbere, who is no stranger to volunteer work herself, encouraged students to not seek rewards for volunteering but to fulfill a duty that we all have to.

In our Setswana culture, volunteering is seen as one of the most important attributes in society but it seems like the spirit is dead because of individualism and, in some cases, greediness.
A third year student, Katlego Mabina, said that life is not all about money and that people have to be generous and lend a helping hand where possible.

“I have volunteered so many times before, working with the disabled people and HIV/AIDS events,” she said.

She went on to say that volunteerism is a sign of humanity as part of our culture, and pleaded with people to always lend a helping hand where possible. She pointed out that the spirit of volunteering is instilled deep in our culture through ‘botho’.

The Volunteer Management Deputy Director, Nicole Senuku, who is a second year student, stated that during the recent World University Debate Championships (WUDC), they had to make sure that volunteers signed in the week prior to the tournament, which was the last training week and team building week.

“A team of five people was compiled that was responsible for team building, ensuring catering and security. I was the intermediate between the organizing committee and the rest of the volunteers,” she said.

When asked whether they experienced any problems, she said that they only had one problem of their lunch arriving late.

“They were murmurings which did not reach me,” she added. “We always slept late, never had anything out of control. Plan B was always on standby once plan A failed.”

She further emphasized the point that it’s not just Botswana where volunteering is lacking but in the whole of Africa.

“In Africa there’s a lot of fear towards volunteering. We are individualists, hardly able to deprive yourself sleep for someone. Volunteering earns you respect, you earn wisdom and bravery. Interpersonal skills are enhanced,” Senuku added.

These volunteers did reap the rewards of their hard work by receiving Mascom and I Run G-City t-shirts, along with free passes to all events, which included the final Gala at Gaborone International Convention Centre and Phakalane Resort.

“We were humble enough to be dressed in t-shirts and not stilettos and dresses at formal events,” said Senuku.

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