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Volunteering Online while Studying

Personal experience of online volunteering through the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme

Photo of Kate Rushton
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When I was at University I knew I wanted to volunteer but I was already balancing studying and working in a store. I did not have much free time. I also knew that I wanted to connect my volunteer work to my studies in Environmental Management. 

So, I investigated online volunteering and became a volunteer for the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program. I assisted a charity in Africa focusing on water projects. I had a faster broadband connection than they did. So, I used some of my limited free time to search for different funding sources and provide the research for proposals for funding for the charity. 

When I registered with the site, I created a profile for myself. Then I conducted some research on the charities, their projects and their desired volunteer profile (e.g., time commitment, skills, and knowledge required etc). Then I contacted the charities with the projects I was interested in until there was a match. 

Is there a way to accredit this volunteer experience?

Specifically, please check all that apply:

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

I am the Community Guide for this challenge. I have studied at Birmingham, Nottingham, and Leeds Universities in the UK and graduated with qualifications in Biochemistry, Toxicology, and Environmental Management. I have held a number of jobs including being a TEFL teacher and energy analyst.

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Can we / should we accredit online volunteer experiences and make them count towards degree qualifications? Can online volunteering help students develop skills and personality traits like empathy?

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