February 13, 2014 9:10 pm
It’s one of the first lessons we learn as children — “sharing means caring.” We might not understand why we have to share at first, especially when there are younger siblings involved, but as we grow into adulthood, sharing becomes an essential part of your social and career success.
So does it come as a surprise to learn that research now proves that sharing your time with others for a good cause can improve your overall happiness and mental well-being? It turns out that Baby Boomers give more total dollars to charities than any other generation. According to Forbes, Boomers are responsible for 34 percent of all charitable donations, which amounts to nearly $61.9 billion every year.
And according to the data collected by Volunteering In America, Boomers spent about 3.6 million hours volunteering for organizations or causes they are passionate about.
These generous Boomers seem to have tapped into volunteerism at an opportune time; two new studies have recently confirmed that there are significant health benefits to giving back.
UnitedHealth Group commissioned a national survey of 3,351 adults and found that the overwhelming majority of participants reported feeling mentally and physically healthier after a volunteer experience.
For those of us who have spent time giving back to the community or helping further a cause we believe in, you might recognize many of the above findings to be correct. It doesn’t seem far-fetched to think that helping others can provide you with a sense of connection, pride, and perspective. But did you know that it can also help you live longer?
Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School in the south of England analyzed data from 40 published studies and found evidence that volunteers had a 20 percent lower risk of death than their peers who do not volunteer. The study also found that volunteers had lower levels of depression, increased life satisfaction and enhanced well-being.
Dr. Suzanne Richards, who lead the team of researchers at Exeter, said that more testing on this subject is necessary in order to find out whether or not biological, cultural, and social factors are associated with a willingness to volunteer in the first place, as they are often associated with better health.
“The challenge now is to encourage people from more diverse backgrounds to take up volunteering, and then to measure whether improvements arise for them,” she said.
Tags: eua, ong, usa, voluntario, volunteer
February 13, 2014 9:05 pm
O poder do voluntariado a nível global demonstrado através do trabalho da mais respeitada e reconhecida organização de ajuda humanitária: a ONU.
In the past three weeks, thousands of local and foreign volunteers have converged in the areas affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Volunteers were among the first to respond, and while their work is done quietly and without fanfare, their contribution is invaluable in such a crisis.
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) program advocates for the recognition and promotion of volunteerism globally, in order to create an enabling environment for volunteers and volunteer-involving organizations, and encourage governments to integrate volunteerism as an essential element of the post-2015 development agenda.
“So much good work goes unnoticed, but we’re trying to get to the point where there is recognition that volunteerism is part of the development measuring framework and acknowledgment that a healthy society is one that supports volunteers and civic engagement,” Kevin Gilroy, head of the UNV Peace and Development Division, said during an exclusive interview with Devex.
UNV is working with UN entities and member states, volunteer-involving organizations, the private sector and other partners to jointly develop tools that enable recognition and measuring of volunteer efforts, such as a “global volunteerism index.”
“Society sometimes does take volunteering for granted, but if you could put a price tag on volunteering, it would be unimaginably huge,” noted Gilroy.
He mentioned how the Johns Hopkins University Comparative Non-profit Sector Project estimated that from 1995-2000 the total number of volunteers in 36 countries comprised 44 per cent of the workforce of civil society organizations, representing the equivalent of 20.8 million full-time workers.
“What is interesting is that the economic contribution of volunteers in these 36 countries was calculated at $400 billion annually. That is massive,” said the UNV official.
Catalyst for development
UNV was established in 1971 to collaborate with UN entities to integrate voluntary service into development assistance activities. For over 40 years, the program has been bringing professional volunteer talent into UN-led development efforts.
In the beginning, the focus was on providing additional capacity through experienced professionals working on international assignments either in UN organizations or affiliated projects. Over time, UNV has evolved in terms of its mandate, results and activities, driven by the changing external environment for peace and development, and the wider global acknowledgment of the role and impact of volunteerism.
UNV is currently operational in three domains:
Mobilizing volunteers to get directly involved in the humanitarian, peace-building, post-conflict recovery, sustainable development and poverty eradication work of the United Nations.
“Our vision is very simple: We believe that a world where volunteerism is fully recognized within societies as a way for people to be engaged would enable sustainable development, peacebuilding and — ultimately — poverty eradication,” said Gilroy.
In line with this approach, UNV gives common, caring global citizens an opportunity to dedicate a portion of their professional lives to contributing to the peace and sustainable development work the United Nations undertakes around the world.
Highly skilled professionals
Traditionally, the program has recruited experienced professionals willing to work in countries other than their own on assignments that are often more suited to mid- and senior-level professionals. This is because many UN host entities require quite specific expertise.
At present, UNV has around 5,000 international volunteer assignments a year in 129 countries. About 80 per cent of these volunteers come from developing countries, hence promoting South-South development. International volunteers usually have five to 10 years of professional experience, and an average age of 38 years old.
These volunteers use their acquired skills to transfer knowledge and build capacity in the field. They are selected based on criteria defined by the requesting host agency, with a vetting process similar to that of any UN entity. They come from all walks of life and from over 120 diverse professions.
For instance, in the health sector, UNV professions include medical practitioners and specialists; staff counselors and psychologists; midwives and nurses; and dentists, pharmacists and laboratory technicians. Other volunteers are experts in protection, resettlement, reintegration and repatriation, and refugee status determination; monitoring and evaluation, reporting, program development and project management; public information and communication; rule of law, judicial monitoring, access to justice, security sector reform, community mobilization, entrepreneurship and employment; and technical and support areas, civil engineering, movement and transport control, ICT, telecommunications and supply management.
In 2014, UNV will offer UN Youth Volunteers aged 18-29 an opportunity to gain first-hand development experience by volunteering in development contexts. The UN Youth Volunteer Program was established at the request of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his 2012 Five Year Strategic Plan, and is still under development.
UNV receives around 70,000 registrations per year for international volunteers, and the organization keeps a roster of about 25,000 at any one time.
Supply is not the problem — the challenge for the recruiters is to identify the best potential candidates with the most closely aligned skill set requested for each assignment. In addition to the professional expertise and soft skills such as motivation, flexibility, communication, team work and commitment, requests often come with other specific variables, including languages, and geographical or cultural knowledge.
“Even with a rather large pool of applicants, some posts remain hard to fill,” said Gilroy.
He gave the example of the UNV program officers, placed in the field units to run the programs as the organisation’s eyes and ears on the ground. The official explained that for those positions, “we’re looking for a number of qualities, including leadership, inspiring management, advocacy, being able to work at a high level with the heads of other UN agencies, and at the same time run an office and deal with day-to-day issues that arise from the numerous volunteers in-country.”
“This may sound generalist, but the profile — someone who has experience in the field, understands programming, advocacy and human resources issues and ideally has worked with a volunteer-sending organization before — can be difficult to find,” he said.
Gilroy encourages skilled applicants to register. In particular, he calls on professionals itching to leave their desk jobs, to get engaged and share their technical skills and know-how in a development or post-crisis situation.
“The rewards can be very gratifying in terms of the solidarity that you’re sharing with the people you’re helping and the agencies you’re working with,” he pointed out. “It’s a very rewarding experience that will enhance your own personal and professional growth and, from that, you’ll not only give but also receive a lot to help you in the next stages of your career. And hopefully the experience will convince you to volunteer in other ways for the rest of your life.”
Tags: aid, humanitario, onu, voluntariado, volunteer vacations, vv
February 13, 2014 8:54 pm
Alunos da primeira edição do curso de negócios sociais da ESPM apresentam 24 projetos para resolver problemas socioambientais em todo o país
Por Bruna Martins Fontes – 13/01/2014
Tags: ong, turismo voluntario, volunteer vacations, vv
Vinte e quatro projetos de negócios sociais foram desenvolvidos pelas duas primeiras turmas formadas na primeira edição do curso do Yunus ESPM Social Business Centre, encerrado em dezembro passado, em São Paulo.
No curso, os alunos desenvolveram ideias para abrir um negócio social ou aperfeiçoar as iniciativas nas quais já estavam envolvidos. Todos eles propõem soluções para resolver problemas sociais seguindo o modelo proposto pelo economista bengali Muhammad Yunus: reinvestir no negócio todo o lucro gerado, para aumentar seu impacto socioambiental.
Neste ano, o curso será realizado em São Paulo e no Rio de Janeiro. As inscrições estão abertas até o dia 7 de fevereiro, nosite da ESPM.
Conheça, abaixo, nove ideias que se destacaram entre as iniciativas propostas pelos alunos, segundo a ESPM, em áreas como saúde, moda e sustentabilidade.
Design da comunidade
O projeto colaborativo A Gente Transforma, capitaneado pelo arquiteto Marcelo Rosembaum, busca resgatar as raízes e os valores de comunidades em situação de miséria. Juntos, os moradores das áreas beneficiadas fazem mutirão para pintar casas, constroem áreas de lazer e trabalham com artesanato. A iniciativa já foi colocada em prática no Parque Santo Antônio, em São Paulo, e no povoado de Várzea Queimada, no Piauí – outros nove projetos esperam investimento para serem implementados.
Renda para detentas
A Santa Cria, iniciativa da estilista Jakeline Souza, pretende ensinar as mulheres detentas de Juiz de Fora (MG) a fazer bolsas com sobras de tecido e de couro das confecções e vendê-las pela internet. Assim, elas podem sustentar suas famílias enquanto cumprem pena. Jakeline recebeu apoio do governo mineiro, que cedeu espaço e energia elétrica para as mulheres trabalharem na penitenciária Professor Ariosvaldo de Campos Pires.
A Saneamentos Sustentáveis, de São Paulo, desenvolveu uma solução para minimizar a falta de saneamento nas cidades: uma privada com coletor acoplado para armazenar dejetos, que são recolhidos por um caminhão e levados a um biodigestor para virar biogás, uma fonte de energia. Para manter o negócio, o plano dos empreendedores Thais Costa, Rosangela Arcas, Ilana Goldsmid e Paulo Oliveros é vender o vaso e cobrar taxas pelos serviços prestados.
A dentista carioca Ana Cristina Mota idealizou um centro para atender a moradores de comunidades de baixa renda no Rio de Janeiro, o Espaço Hospitalar Nova Odontologia. Para testar a viabilidade de sua ideia, Ana Cristina conduziu um projeto piloto no final do ano passado e, assim, definiu uma tabela de preços adequada. O custo de um tratamento completo – inclusive com implantes – chega a R$ 1 mil, e o valor pode ser dividido em parcelas que custam de R$ 80 a R$ 140 por mês.
Em sua empresa, o corretor de seguros Luiz Rafael Mistieri, começou a promover inclusão social por meio da corretagem de seguros. Para isso, ele capacitou jovens de 16 a 24 anos que moram no bairro do Cantagalo, em São Paulo. Os selecionados tinham pouca escolaridade, por isso sentiam dificuldade para arranjar um emprego. Agora, o empreendedor busca investimento para ajudar mais jovens.
Criado em São Paulo por Cyrille Bellier, Isis Oliveira e Daniel Lissoni, o projeto Hortas Urbanas quer ocupar com pequenas plantações os espaços ociosos em grandes centros urbanos e, assim, incentivar a alimentação saudável. O plano do trio é cobrar preços de mercado de quem pode pagar e subsidiar a compra para a população de baixa renda.
A dupla de advogados Silvia Daskal e Thiago Chaves, de São Paulo, idealizou uma solução para atender aos paulistanos que não têm acesso à justiça. Em seu Escritório Social de Advocacia, eles querem primeiro atender pessoas envolvidas em causas trabalhistas e de defesa do consumidor para, depois, atuar em mais áreas. Pelo serviço, eles cobrarão honorários de R$ 50 a R$ 100, e a expectativa é a de que o negócio social se sustente quando tiver 550 clientes por mês.
O Lares de Mães, idealizado pela arquiteta Sylvia Angelini, de Jundiaí (SP), e pela psicóloga Fabiola Lupinari, de São Paulo quer treinar mulheres de baixa renda para cuidar de crianças e, assim, solucionar o problema das mães que precisam trabalhar e não encontram creches para seus filhos. O negócio social também quer beneficiar as cuidadoras: a ideia é que sejam mulheres com mais de 50 anos, que têm dificuldade de se colocar no mercado.
O Projeto Felicidade, criado pela psiquiatra Ana Maria Cortez Vannucchi e pelo psicólogo Antônio Carlos Vazquez Vazquez, planeja oferecer atendimento em saúde mental com preços acessíveis, sem descuidar do padrão de qualidade de que desfrutam pacientes das classes A e B. Eles querem atuar na cidade de São Paulo, onde 30% da população tem transtornos mentais – desse total, 10% possuem doenças graves, como esquizofrenia. O problema é que, na capital paulista, o número de Centros de Atenção Psicossocial é insuficiente para atender à demanda, por isso 3,5 milhões de pessoas não conseguem tratamento adequado.