Volunteering experience is a wide scope of activities, which includes common forms of mutual aid and self-help, formal service delivery and various forms of civic participation, which is voluntary for the benefit of the general public without expectation of monetary reward. Volunteers from the point of view of the international law are individuals engaged in charity work in the form of free works and services.
There is speculation that volunteering as a social movement emerged in the West, and the first volunteers were Samaritans, who began to assist all those in need. More confident, we can speak about the emergence of the phenomenon of volunteering since the middle of the XIX century. 1859 was the year of the emergence of volunteerism in the world. During this period, Jean Henri Dunant, the famous French writer and journalist, shocked by the consequences of bloody battle at Solferino, suggested the creation of the Red Cross – an organization that would work on a voluntary basis and provided first aid to the wounded and prisoners. Principles set out Henry Durand still guide volunteer organizations around the world.
Some researchers regard the twentieth century as a major milestone in the development of volunteering. In Europe after the First World War, there were people willing to provide assistance to victims of war. At this time, the first volunteer organization was founded. Today, there exists the Coordinating Committee of International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) under the auspices of the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The activities of charitable organizations are in need of volunteer support. For the organization of volunteer activities, on the one hand, charitable organizations create jobs for volunteers; on the other hand, there is the number of supporting organizations and volunteer charity corps members willing to take part in free labor for the benefit of the needy. This unpaid work is a kind of philanthropy (altruistic donation to needy people or nature).
The term “volunteer experience” is often confused with the concept of “public work,” which refer to any useful activities for the benefit of society. Volunteerism is aimed primarily at helping needy segments of the population, who cannot help themselves (age, homelessness, disability, natural disasters, and social upheavals).
Volunteering in developing countries includes providing volunteer assistance, mostly in developing countries. Many international volunteers from developed countries deliberately go to the developing countries with intention to do charitable activities. Currently, the term “volunteering” implies the international volunteer community. Volunteers from developed countries contribute their valuable time and resources to provide possible assistance to the people from the developing countries.
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