ATS Student Mentoring
- Health and wellbeing
My name is Julia Nwokedi. During my Masters Programme at the University of Limerick I decided to volunteer with an organisation called Care Alliance when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit.
During the Covid-19 outbreak, I wanted to see how I could help the most vulnerable in my community cope with the pandemic, and so I reached out to this organisation because it focused on providing support to family care givers who were caring for family members most vulnerable to the Covid-19 due to age and underlying health conditions. Most of the care givers themselves were also at high risk for Covid-19 and had become socially isolated due to the pandemic and so they needed support to help them cope through, which the organisation was offering via online social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
I decided to volunteer by offering emotional social support to the caregivers because of my understanding of the impact of isolation and loneliness on the mental health of an individual especially during a scary pandemic. Till date, I have been able to provide my support while keeping myself safe from the pandemic.
My volunteering experience has changed my outlook on volunteering and life in general because it has made me realise how vulnerable people can be and how social support, positive words of encouragement and little deeds of kindness can impact lives, help humanity and heal the world.
I have learned to be more compassionate, empathetic, and understanding towards what people go through and this experience will help me show more kindness to humanity in the future. My volunteering experience has also helped me develop core professional skills such as strong communication skills, empathy, team work, etc that would positively impact my career as a psychologist in the future. Volunteering has also been rewarding because I received recognition for my volunteering, from my institution (University of Limerick) and was awarded a President’s Volunteer Award. So, I would encourage everyone to volunteer as much as they can, as volunteering would impact your life positively as well as your community because you would be touching lives which would bring you fulfilment in ways you never imagined.
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