Volunteer Reflection Paper
Societies are complex entities that comprise of individuals from diverse social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. These interact at different levels, share intricate and augmenting relations, and influence each other’s attitudes, behaviors, and mannerisms. In most instances, these relations are characterized by conflicts. The conflicts emanate from varying interests that the populations have. The objective of social work is to help individuals to cope with the varied problems and lead satisfying lifestyles. In this desirable state, they exhibit a high level of productivity and are able to address emergent and existence challenges with ease. Volunteering is an insightful and empowering experience to social workers. This particular volunteering experience enabled me to understand and appreciate the various problems that both young girls and their parents grapple in the current society.
The organization that I worked for during this volunteering period was Scores Soccer Club. It trains young children between the age of nine and ten years in soccer. Further, the organization commits to instilling discipline and leadership skills in the children in an effort to enable them perform well both socially and academically. Coupled with a focus on developing strong interpersonal skills, Scores Soccer Club is successful in enhancing social relationships within this community. The after school services help parents of the children especially considering the fact that they work for long hours. The initiative prevents the youngsters from engaging in social ills that have detrimental effects on their wellbeing.
In particular, I was responsible for young girls between the age of nine and ten years. I worked in collaboration with the main coach to assist the girls in different ways. Generally, my duty was to ensure organization and preparation of players, equipment, and facilities. Together with my colleague, I was responsible for ensuring that all equipment is in perfect condition. Besides ensuring that the equipment is available, I was also responsible for communicating with other schools and packing all supplies needed for teams. In case the equipment is damaged, I ensured it is repaired or replaced accordingly.
I was also involved in administrative concerns of this particular team. In this respect, I assumed the responsibility of collecting application forms and reviewing eligibility of the players. In addition, I ensured that the players undergo physical examination to determine their health status and avoid any complications. Performing these administrative tasks was particularly beneficial for the head coach. It gave her an opportunity to concentrate on game plans and develop strategic plans that ensure quality performance. Most importantly, I was directly involved in the implementation of practice. In most instances, I assisted the coach in undertaking necessary drills and implementing game plans. In certain cases, I offered input by advising the coach about specific game tactics. In addition, I was responsible for overseeing the discipline of these young girls. In this regard, I ensured that they maintained punctuality at all times and participated actively in game practices.
From the first day, I found the main coach to be rude and too hard on the young girls. Regardless of this attitude, the girls respected her and enjoyed working under her guidance. Over time, this perception changed when I realized that the young girls required strict supervision. The coach used this tactic to ensure that they adhere to the provisions of the organization and concentrate on achieving important goals and objectives. In this respect, it is worth noting that girls at this age are at the initial stages of their adolescence stage. Monitoring their activities and relationships closely, and providing relevant advice and guidance goes a long way in equipping them with important life skills. These are essential for helping them to deal with the problems and challenges that they encounter from time to time.
Initially, the girls appeared to be not only rude but also dishonest. At one point, a young girl told me that I was infringing on her rights to freedom. However, continued interaction with the youngsters has helped me to change this perception over time. It made me understand their unique needs and I adopted approaches that helped them benefit optimally from the training sessions. Unlike previously, I now understand that effective discipline encompasses guidance and counseling in addition to punishment. Further, I acknowledge the importance of consistency and patience when addressing discipline concerns of this generation. In this respect, it was important to ensure that the girls follow the laid down rules at all times. Ultimately, the youngsters appreciate the importance of discipline with regard to making them strong and dependable. Before completing my volunteering period at the organization, one girl thanked me profusely for instilling in her a sense of discipline. From her point of view, this was the foundation of sustainable growth and maturity.
One particular incident best explains the influence of bad behavior on the youngsters. In this agency, there was this girl named Maya whose behavior had a negative effect on the entire team. One Friday, while were travelling to the game location, she recorded a conversation that I was having with another coach on her phone. Upon realizing this, we confiscated the phone and summoned her parents. We talked to the parents about the issue and challenged them to be more involved in Maya’s life.
With respect to the objectives of social work, this experience it helped me address various problems that parents and children were struggling with. In the current society, parents are less involved in the lives and general wellbeing of their children. The busy lifestyles that they lead make it difficult for them to attend to the entire needs of their children. Although schools play an instrumental role in keeping the children busy, they have not been actively involved in ensuring engagement after learning sessions. Coupled with the advances in technology and increased use of technological tools by young children, it becomes difficult for children to build strong relationships. In most instances, the ideal relations develop through group interactions. By volunteering in this particular organization, I ensured that the young girls have a chance to develop sustainable and mutually benefiting relationships.
Through this experience, I helped in informing the society about the availability of useful resources at their disposal. Scores Soccer Club is an important institution that plays a key role in enhancing the general wellbeing of young children. As indicated earlier, it aims at instilling discipline and leadership skills in the young generation. Moreover, it equips the young children with sufficient skills and helps in recognition of talents. Through media and word of mouth, I ensured that this particular society is conversant with the services that the institution provides. Linking them to this resource gave them a chance to exploit it and benefit fully from the same.
Through volunteering in this organization, I was able to build the capacities of this young generation. The training experience instilled in them essential life skills and enhanced their coping capacities. Specifically, the leadership and strong interpersonal skills empower them to resolve the problems that they encounter in their day to day life. Thus indirectly, I contributed to strengthening social relationships. These are essential for harmonic coexistence and effective functioning of organizations as well as individuals.
From an individual point of view, the experience was useful in different ways. Just like the young children, I was able to broaden my social network through the organization’s initiatives. Volunteering made me realize that I have desirable social skills that can help me strengthen existing relationships as well as establish friendships. Basically, shared activities or group initiatives provide the best environment for strengthening social relations. Through volunteering, I was able to meet new people and strengthen community relationships. Ultimately, the experience broadened my support network and further accorded me emotional security.
Also, the volunteering experience made me realize that I chose the right profession. It exposed me to the challenges and complexities that surround social work. Regardless of these, I was still passionate about the profession by the end of the volunteering period. I had an inner drive and derived immense satisfaction from helping the children realize their dreams and explore their potential. In addition, it gave me a chance to understand the application of specific social skills to the work environment. By the end of the period, I felt fulfilled with respect to career experience. This gave me the confidence to continue pursuing the field and exploiting the career advancement opportunities therein. In addition, it renewed my creativity and vision to advance my professional as well as individual life.
Finally, the experience enabled me to understand the extent of my limitations and the implications that they have on my personal and professional life. Particular incidents prompted me to undertake self-analyses in order to establish my strengths and weaknesses. Undoubtedly, these are instrumental in enabling me to make objective decisions and build lasting relationships. For instance, I realized that I have strong virtues such as tolerance, love, patience, and persistence. These enabled me to deal with problematic scenarios effectively. Also, I realized that I was short tempered and in certain instances indecisive. The weaknesses had adverse effects on my problem solving abilities. This self-discovery was imperative in helping me perform my duties effectively.
Conclusively, societies are complex entities that comprise of individuals from diverse backgrounds. The relationships that populations establish at different levels enable them to co-exist peacefully. Characteristic interactions strengthen social ties that are essential for executive functioning. The problems that they face stem from varying interests that individuals and groups pursue. The volunteering experience at Scores Soccer Club was fulfilling. Interacting with the young girls gave me an opportunity to understand the problems they face and instill in them relevant coping skills. In addition, the challenges that I faced were eye opening and allowed me to appreciate the complexities that surround the field of social work. Most importantly, the experience enabled me to link theory to practice, undertake an objective self-evaluation, and benefit fully from the career opportunities that it presented.