I was fresh out of college when I had the opportunity of being a volunteer that lasted for 8 straight years.  Being a volunteer is a rewarding experience more than that of what i was told.  One can never comprehend what is 'rewarding experience of being a volunteer' unless the person becomes a volunteer.  It also enables the person to gain confidence, expands the person's network by meeting new people and develop new skills.  The benefits of volunteering are many and varied for every person, but can include:
  • An opportunity to have fun outside the community you usually live
  • An opportunity to give something back to your community
  • An opportunity to make a difference in the community or someone's life
  • Learning opportunities – learn through doing
  • Gaining skills or taking part in training
  • Gaining work experience and make contacts within a profession
  • Personal and social development
  • May help increase self-esteem and self-confidence
  • The opportunity to become part of a team
  • Meeting new people from a variety of age groups: it’s a good way to meet new friends
  • Gives you a position within the community – an opportunity to become involved with community activities
  • Gives you a sense of pride; feeling needed and valued

One of the more obvious reasons why people volunteer is because they find something they are passionate about and want to do something good for others. People who volunteer in their community have a personal attachment to the area and want to make it a better place for themselves and for others. People who have themselves struggled with social issues usually have a certain empathy for those in a similar situation and will often wish to help out. Many people who volunteer think that they are very fortunate to live the way they do and want to give something back to society, as a way of balancing the scales.

One of the greatest benefits of volunteering is being able to spend an extended period of time in a new culture or community. It's a truly unique learning experience that will see you interacting with new cultures, trying new food, and meeting new people.  . As a  volunteer you will get a real glimpse of the local culture, allowing you to experience the culture instead of just a spectator or reading the culture from books.

Volunteers often say that the volunteering experience has made them a better person. In most cases, volunteers also become more concerned and aware of the problems facing the world and  many feel that they were ignorant or narrow minded before.

Many people choose to volunteer simply for the pride that comes from completing something.  Even if this isn't the main motivation for volunteering it is certainly a major bonus!
Children like Kesz Valdez, the 13-year-old Filipino awardee of the International Children's Peace Prize really makes me fell very small.  There are many like him doing great things still unnoticed and they are making me feel I have done nothing in my entire life.

In my younger years, most of dreams were all about me and for my family with a few whispers at the back of my head and in the deepest of my heart that I should also do something for other people.  I easily get moved when i see people in need but in most cases i felt like i can't do anything because i thought i needed help too.  But, as i grow older, i learned that the people who has done great things are those people who have the least in life.

It is not expensive to help according to the guardian of Kesz.  I have to agree with him.  It also made me realized that in most cases i think that helping people is always about having money to do it.  It's been a long time that i have stopped praying to have money so that i may be able to help others because i realized why should the money be handed through me when it is best to hand it directly to the people that needed it.  If i have to give monetary help, it should come from my own budgeted need - a sacrificial giving.  This is probably what David meant when he said 'I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing'. 2 Samuel 24:24'  It may be costly to help people but i am pretty sure it is not expensive because helping people is not always about money.

The very reason that stopped many of us from helping other people is the thought that we ourselves needed help.  This is the kind of mindset that imprisoned us including me for the longest time already.  Realizing the situation is just one step and it will not lead me any direction.  Taking one step will not change my position as i am still standing on the same spot and it will only change if i will make another step.
First heard of life skills when I worked in a children's home last year.  I probably must have heard or read it before but never really take time to know what is it all about.

What Are Life Skills?

I found this simple definition of life skills in wikipedia:
Life skills are behaviors used appropriately and responsibly in the management of personal affairs. They are a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life.

Life Skills are all the non-academic foundational skills human beings learn and use to thrive individually and live optimally in community with others.

Basic Life Skills For Children

There are five basic categories of life skills necessary for children.  They are:
  1. Personal care
  2. Organization
  3. Respect for self and others
  4. Communication
  5. Social skills
I could very well remember  that I was taught of the first three basic life skills (Personal Care, Organization and Respect for Others).  I grew up being constantly reminded by my parents, older relatives and even from people in the community of those skills.  They probably didn't know that those were named as 'life skills' but they knew that those were necessary and should be taught to their children.

Least Taught Life Skills

I was born in the province and mostly lived there when I was young.  During my time, children were not encourage to talk to older people especially not joing conversations with adults.  We were even told to go to our room whenever there are visitors, or better go outside.

Communication and social skills are most needed to further learning.  They are bridges to the unexplored world of a growing child.

Me and my siblings grew up generally shy it makes living more difficult.