NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro (m!M) presented the results of the research “Perception of young people about volunteering”. About 60 young people had the opportunity to find out what most of their peers and people around them think during this zoom presentation.
The aim of this project was to develop the capacities of youth workers and build partnerships between organizations that can later provide a development environment to strengthen social competencies and skills related to youth employment through active participation in local and international volunteering, youth exchanges and mobility aimed at disadvantaged categories.
366 people aged between 15 and 30 were surveyed, most of them high school students. The number of respondents from urban areas was 296 or 81.3%, and from rural areas 70 or 19.2%, which indicates that respondents from urban areas in the country are more involved in solving problems in society. When it comes to the gender of the respondents, the number of women is 259 or 71%, and men 107 or 29%.
Respondents see volunteering as providing help and services to people who need it most, and they also stated that volunteering is work that contributes to society and the environment. They also said that the volunteers were “a group of people who are engaged in volunteer assistance and philanthropy, without any financial compensation”. They most often see volunteering as helping the community, developing skills, gaining new experiences and acquaintances. In order to develop awareness of the benefits and importance of volunteering, it is necessary to show all the benefits and opportunities it brings to schools, both for individuals and for society as a whole.
It has been established that if young people are informed and have positive experiences, they are more likely to continue volunteering in the future, encouraging others, younger than themselves, in their intentions.
Based on the respondents’ opinions, volunteering is almost always associated with gaining new experiences and helping the community, developing skills and making ourselves happy, and rarely with gaining experiences that will help us find a job and future career.
Some of the participants said the following:
“I have been a volunteer for 5 years and I lead an NGO that deals with young members of the RE population, I am active on social networks and I try to be on the majority. No matter how much time you volunteer, it is important that you continue. You meet a lot of people, you develop yourself and various opportunities open up for you …” said Nardi, one of the participants in this presentation.
“During these 8 months of volunteering, I met more people than in the whole high school, apart from meeting a lot of people, I also had a lot of opportunities to travel and get to know different cultures, various activities in which I participated …” said Lorena Ujkić , a volunteer of our organization.
“I met a lot of quality people and I am very satisfied with volunteering …” said Jovana.
“There are a lot of people in my area who don’t volunteer and don’t want to, they think it’s useless work, I don’t really think about it that way. When I participated in the fundraiser, my heart was full and I am glad that we managed to collect so much help for that family. We are young and our voice should be heard and I think it is better to actually spend that part of the day we spend on social networks volunteering,” said Saša.
“The feeling when you help someone is indescribable because it took you a couple of hours and the one you helped will remember it for a longer period of time. We can learn a lot of things, plus we can hang out,” said Teodora.
Most of the participants stated that they had a positive experience in volunteering and that they met many new friends, gained a lot of knowledge and made themselves and other people happy.