By Abdulsamet Kilicarslan, Work and Travel Summer 2014 Ambassador Scholar

Abdulsamet Kilicarslan is a Work and Travel participant from Turkey, working at Funtown Splashtown USA in Old Orchard Beach, ME. In this blog post, he shares some of his experiences as a volunteer and how the entire world can work together to make it a better place.

Is the meaning of volunteerism different everywhere? Does it depend on the person? Does it depend on the country? Its meaning can change according to people’s expectations and experiences.  No matter how many different ways it has been defined, they all represent the same awareness. It doesn’t matter what kind of volunteering you do. It doesn’t matter how long you volunteer for.  What matters is this: “Volunteerism.”

Many people think that they should not have to work as a volunteer. In their perspectives, this is how it should be. Despite this situation, we who work as a volunteers can do our best to change their minds. In a sense, the entire world can cooperate with each other regardless of geographical location to achieve a common goal. For example, there may be volunteers in Asia as well as volunteers in Africa who are working on wildlife conservation.  Even though there is a large distance between them, they are still working toward a common goal.

Before coming to the USA, I was apart of a volunteer organization in Turkey. We planted many saplings in the dry zone which would eventually grow and turn the region green. The aim of that organization was to help nature as well as creating a better life for everyone. This is only one kind of volunteer organization.

When I was in the USA, I took part in another volunteer organisation. We collected the garbage on the beach as well as in the parks. This organisation was aiming to help birds who live near the beach by cleaning up their habitat. They were also committed to keeping these areas garbage free by encouraging others to clean up after themselves and throw their trash away. Both of these organizations were planning a better future for everyone. We may live in different countries or regions, but we can do the same volunteer works.

It does not matter where you live, volunteerism is the same thing all of the world.

P.S.: Thanks to CCI Greenheart for connecting me with these volunteer organizations