If you think that volunteers do only voluntary work, you’ve got it all wrong. A growing trend: volunteers who invest – sometimes heavily – in the project they have been working in, in India. What started with a contribution of ten or twenty dollars, has mounted to investing in buildings for several thousands of Euro’s. Initially the volunteers – working via AMAIDI in India – brought their own savings, the result of a few months hard work in a restaurant, bar or grocery shop. Now volunteers start fundraising while still in their native country, take more and – while working in their project – keep touch with the home front where family-members or friends are fund raising on their behalf (so that the end amount will be much higher than what they came with). And then there are the volunpreneurs that – once home – start their own foundation, gaining support from more than only the inner circle to sustain their ex-host organization for years to come on a sustainable basis.
Why do volunteers do this? Why do they grow to be volunpreneurs?
Because they feel committed beyond their personal experience as a volunteer. They feel committed to the cause as such, fortified by the warm personal relationships they developed with the staff of the organization they worked in. It shows, especially when the time to say ‘goodbye’ comes near, how strong the attachment is of many who put in so much energy and emotional involvement.
It’s beautiful to see how many come in insecure of what is waiting for them and how to react, and how self-confident and ‘mature’ they leave, with connections between their hearts and the ones they ‘leave behind’, sometimes equal to family ties that – they feel – they have to severe to go back to their ‘old’ life.