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Volunteering: The more we give, the happier we feel

    25 Years old volunteer Karim lives in Paghman, the eastern part of Kabul, Afghanistan. He says: “Years ago a few of my friends and I decided that we wanted to do something to help the people, families, and community to create positive incentives among the people for a better life and a positive social change in the community.”

    “I started volunteering when I was 17 years old for the people and communities in need. This was a dream come true for me–not only because I had dreams of becoming a social activist, but also because I love to work for the betterment of our community.” Explains Karim

    “Once a week, with the help of some volunteers in our community we clean the streets from the wastes like used plastics, boxes and spend plenty of time socializing with the people in the community. Working for the cleanliness of our community is my favorite part of volunteering. And while seeing the families follow the cleanliness of their home and streets in the community is one of the most rewarding parts of our works we have done.” Explain Karim

    Karim says: “Volunteering experience not only taught me the importance of responsibility, but it also reminded me how special it is to bond with people in the community.”  He says: “My time with people in need really taught me to stress that we should all treat each other with just as much respect as we’d treat our parents and relatives because the relationships you create with them can be even more powerful than that of any person in your life.”

    Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.

    “Volunteering keeps me in regular contact with others and help me develop a solid support system, which in turn protects me against depression and increases self-confidence.” He continues: “We are doing well for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Our role as a volunteer can also give us a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.”

    Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. “Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.” Add Karim

    “I will never forget that overwhelming feeling of joy and accomplishment that my team and I felt as we helped the community clean our streets remove the wastes from the area which helped the families learn from our activities and follow our goals.” Says Jamshid a volunteering team member of Karim

    “Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks.” Explained Jamshid

    “I volunteered in high school as part of the school volunteer team, but it wasn’t until I was a freshman in the school that I truly understood the impact and importance of getting involved and giving back to the community.” Add Jamshid

    “When you’ve got a volunteering requirement to fulfill, spending your weekend away from your phone and your friends can feel like a chore. People tell you that volunteering is a rewarding experience that will change your outlook on life and even makes you a better person, but until you’ve actually gone through it, it’s tough to see that silver lining.” Conclude Karim