Dr. Verestóy Attila Foundation

"Giving is the best communication"

Be a volunteer! But why?

Hope, devotion, care, patience, learning, making contact, implementing ideas, experience, motivation, development, joy, friends, help, self-knowledge, opportunities – said young people about volunteering who believe that the saying “giving is good” is not only a cliché. Being good is truly powerful.

According to the coordinator of Volunteers for Udvarhelyszék Melinda Nemes, as long as you don’t know what’s volunteering all about, it’s hard to imagine what this selfless community service means. We were talking to her.

-         Tell us about the beginning.

-         The Dr Verestóy Attila Foundation came into existence in 2008 as a charity foundation. It mostly lives on private equity, but of course – as other NGOs – we apply for scholarships and try to gain supporters.

We work in three areas.

  • The first area is education. We would like to support students that do well at school, but their financial circumstances are not very good. Within “The Future is Yourself!” scholarship this year 26 high school students, 14 undergraduate students and 3 researchers get financial support. Besides we support programmes organized for young people.
  • Within the second field we support surgeries, treatments and check-ups that the Romanian insurance system does not finance; moreover we try to help those patients who need treatment or surgery abroad.
  • The third one is social support. We cooperate with NGOs that work with disadvantaged social groups.

“… The word volunteer says that one or more persons take on a task that they are not forced to do.”

According to a 15-year old girl

Volunteering got connected to these areas when we started handing out the scholarships to young people. I told them to try give something back to the community and I didn’t mean money, rather be a volunteer and do something worthwhile. A few years passed and more and more students told us that they started volunteering because of us and what a nice experience it had been which was a very good feedback for us.

-         What is Volunteering for Udvarhelyszék group about and who can join you?

-         First of all the group is about making volunteering popular. We have a plan in the long run. We would like to convey those who wish to volunteer to different institutions and NGOs.

The Volunteers for Udvarhelyszék Facebook page is run by Dr Verestóy Attila Foundation. We have an agreement with some NGOs saying that we try to popularize volunteering as many ways as possible. We mainly work with local volunteers. The most important thing is motivating the young adults of Harghita county to try out this opportunity and look for the area that they would gladly volunteer in since giving help is incredibly powerful.

One of the most respectable volunteers for me is Anna Mária András who speaks with cancer patients. They gather every week, do different activities, talk to each other and try to keep up hope in people.

Last year we made an instructive motivational video where volunteers talked about their experiences.

“Some say that we receive nothing for volunteering in return. They mean money, unfortunately. Volunteering is more complex than that. I dare say since I’m volunteering, I’m more responsible and mature, as well as I gained a lot of experiences that one cannot pay for. To sum up: being a volunteer is fun!”

-         How many volunteers work in Udvarhelyszék currently?

-         We cannot say numbers, since volunteering has all sorts of forms. Some volunteers don’t go to the community, but as they love working on computer, they create NGOs’ websites for free. Many volunteers go to the hospital every week and read stories to children, others go to visit the elderly or volunteer in bicycle contests – these volunteers help when they are needed. Every NGO has a group of volunteers that they can use. We don’t have permanent volunteers, but we can always rely on our scholars.


-         What’s the volunteer’s task at a non-profit association?

-         Each volunteer has different task. In order to complete it conscientious work and earnestness are needed. If the children are waiting for you in the hospital because you promised you would go and read a story, then you are responsible to them. Those who take on volunteering should contemplate well and then undertake a task that they feel motivated about.

“I respect those people who help selflessly on others … It’s good to volunteer because it gets people together, creates unity and is always for a good cause. Moreover it’s not even boring. It’s good about selfless support that it always pays off, it’s worth doing it only for a smile, too. … During our lifetime we need to aspire to make everyone happy. … It’s good to help on others.”

-         What can a volunteer get out of it?

-         There’s no financial benefit apparently, since this is one of the fundamentals of volunteering, but they motivate the young people by giving them juice, food and T-shirts and of course with the experience which is priceless. Some organizations make a contract with the volunteers because certain universities take into account at admission how much and in what area the candidate volunteered, therefore the employer strives to give a certificate for their work.

In Romania under certain conditions they acknowledge volunteering as professional practice. It matters a lot that after finishing university how we start working for a company: without any professional experience or with a lot of experience and knowledge acquired while volunteering.

-         What’s the message of Volunteers for Udvarhelyszék group in a few sentences?

-         I quote Csaba Böjte: “Those, that don't believe that there exist many good people, should start doing good themselves and they will eventually see that many will support them. ”I also realized in the last few years that there are lots of good people all around the world. It only depends on your point of view which side you see. If you show something of yourself, mainly role model, then you can be sure they will follow you and you will get back all the good things that you’ve done selflessly.


Resource: morfondir.ro

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