Volunteering is Fun!!!

I have been as a volunteer since 2006, It was Bantul earthquake disaster. I was medical student but my volunteering experience at that time was not in medical field. I was one of the coordinators of the volunteers in Badan Eksekutif Mahasiswa (a student’s organisation in my faculty). The coordinator had job to manage how many volunteers would go to a hospital, and the hospital which should I manage was Sardjito General Hospital. Hey, that is the biggest hospital in my city!!!

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My first experience of volunteering! I found volunteering is fun, totally fun! I was one of the “victim” of Bantul earthquake disaster. When the disaster happened, I was at my boarding house alone. My sister went home because actually it was holiday for my faculty (my sister was at same faculty with me). And all my friends was run away to other city, or went home. In the night, It was cat and dog rain day, black out, and i did not have a dinner.

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However, when I was a volunteer, I found I was not a “victim” of the disaster. I was the lucky one! The volunteers did not get money, did not get certificate, and our names were not written in their memories. But we, all of the volunteers, found another pearl in the disaster: the happy feeling helping the others.

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I don’t know why, but I feel lately my city got a lot of disasters. I was at 2010, Merapi mountain, the most active  volcano in the world erupted. It was the biggest eruption in 100 years. I was in the south Yogyakarta (Merapi is in North Yogyakarta), and the sky was red… mud and stones rain all night long. I would have national medical accreditation examination. My allergic reaction showed up. Sore throat and cough were more than a week. The television news were not help, gave hyperbolic information.

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I was fresh graduate of medical student, but in the name of emergency situation I could help. I was a Indonesian Red Cross volunteer, Early Recovery of Merapi Eruption Disaster Program – Medical Devision. I saw nature became ash, river was full of sand, and people was lost everything. Sadness… family, house, cows gone. An old women said she had nothing, she preferred to be death. Her husband and big family were die. She was living in the shelter with her only nephew who was still live.

Sadness was there. But, a small hope was rising.

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Well, I can’t said it was fun. But this volunteering experience showed many things to me. About sadness and hope, which were not separated. And the volunteers’ job did not only take care their health, but also to grow up the little seed of hope.

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These days, I become very busy with my life and my work. But volunteering is too fun to leave behind. I have become an online volunteer, United Nation online volunteer. There re many non-profit organisations look for online volunteer. I have been there since August 2011 and worked for Community Empowerment Collective Society, UNESCO, and this time Centre for African Affairs and Global Peace.

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Maybe people said that it is very stupid to work without a fee. But what can I say is, money is important but not everything. I got many experiences after have become a volunteer. And these experiences are more more more important than money. This volunteering also needs professionalism and focus to do all the jobs. Friends and new experiences wait for all volunteers! It is fun!

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Information:

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~globalconn/2006-05-indonesia.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_eruptions_of_Mount_Merapi

http://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en/vol/

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