Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dont abuse me............says Mr. Drugs

The Beauty of Volunteerism!

Drug abuse is real.  The misuse of drugs has many negative implications on the individual, family, community and society.  As such, The National Council on Drug Abuse  (NCDA) operating under the hospices of the Ministry of Health in Jamaica  has set out to educate persons about the harmful use and the negative implications of drug abuse.  This group has several dimensions and volunteer groups.  One such group is the NCDA Richmond Volunteer Group which is very active in its fight against drug abuse.  These volunteers are varied in age, talent and occupation.  Nevertheless, we all share the same goals and operate as a unit and I am a proud volunteer of this organization for over a year.

I strongly believe in the spirit of volunteerism.  One should give back and assist others without looking for something in return.  I became a member of this group because I wanted to help the group promote its anti drug abuse campaign.  I have seen the harmful effects of drug abuse and wanted to assist in stemming it so as to promote a safer and drug free society.

We  (NCDA group)recognize and implement plans in keeping with global, regional and national anti drug policies.  For example, May 31, 2013 was globally recognized as "World No Tobacco Day" and operated under the theme, : Ban Tobacco Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship".  The Richmond Volunteer Group honoured this day by hosting an expo and road march to highlight the harmful effects of Tobacco use.

As I reminisce on May 31, as a volunteer I marched with pride!  I marched against tobacco use! I assisted in spreading the word that tobacco use is dangerous.  As I reflect on the statistics, over 600,000 people die each year from second had smoke and tobacco products contribute to 6,000,000 people dying worldwide annually! For this, I had to contribute to stemming this in my country by sensitizing the youth and adults alike.

What have I learnt?

In reflecting on that day, I helped to monitor students, provided guidance for some students and help to maintain order and discipline.    The experience of being a team player was priceless.  It highlighted the fact that in order to accomplish certain tasks in a timely manner, it is best to use a team approach.

Being a volunteer allowed me to demonstrate leadership skills which is very important.  A sound leadership skill is very important to an individual as it allows for the creation of visions and shared objectives.  Additionally, this exposure created the opportunity for me to develop my interpersonal skills.  Having good interpersonal skills  is critical because it assists me in dealing with people in different contexts.  It will continue to assist me in church, community events, my job and otherwise.

Use of these skills

For the first two weeks in July, I had the opportunity of marking a regional examination.  I had to do this in a team setting where ten persons were at the same table marking the same questions.  In doing so, there needs to be good interpersonal skills.  For example, in marking a question, there were points raised by students that were not on the designated marking scheme.  With this in mind, I had to consult with, debate, and discuss the situation with fellow markers and table leader in order to arrive at a decision.   Additionally, in reflecting, it allowed for good team work where each member assisted another as the situation/need arises.

Impact on future employability
Managers today require employees who are able to work in teams.  Perhaps that is why quality circles and total quality management is being promoted.  As such, it is imperative that I learn good interpersonal skills, good communication skills and team work approach to accomplishing tasks.  If these skills are developed from now, then when the situation arise that requires it, it will not be novel to me as I would have already be familiar and exposed to it. Therefore, being a volunteer is preparing me for such activities.

In retrospect, it is good to to volunteer.  It is good to give of oneself freely in order to help others.  Oh what a better place this world would be if we all lent a hand, if we all lift a finger, if we all help someone without any ulterior motive.  The experience garnered highlighted that I am a subset of society.  I reap benefits from society, as such, I have a social responsibility............. to give back.  As you read this blog, do some introspection and find out if you are fulfilling your social responsibility.