My volunteering experience (at the end of the project)

Sara Velkoska is a volunteer at Movement for decent work and welfare society.

It’s been 12 months since I started my volunteering program at Movement for Decent Work and Welfare Society. I started this journey at the most uncertain time. The advent of the corona virus has completely changed our daily lives. We began to live in a way previously unknown to us. Everything has changed, from the way we move to the way we breathe. Every day was filled with fear about our health and our future. But in those strangest moments, the biggest and most positive opportunity appeared for me. My friend asked me if I wanted to become a volunteer at the Movement for Decent Work and Welfare Society. She explained to me what the goal of this organization is and what my tasks will be. At first I was worried if I am going to meet their expectations because I have never heard about precarious work before. I was familiar with the type of work where you are not paid or treated well, but I didn’t know that there was a term for that kind of work, and even less an organization that is actively fighting against it. The idea immediately appealed to me. I imagined myself as a person who will be part of that fight and will strive every day to provide better living and working conditions for the most vulnerable categories of people. That’s how I started this volunteering journey.

My roles in the organization constantly changed. First couple of months I was reading literature about precarious work and I was introduced to the term, scale and consequences. I realized that it is something that we are all familiar with, whether consciously or unconsciously. Soon I found myself a purpose. I focused on researching precariousness among young graduates. I was surprised that almost every profession is exposed to some form of exploitation. Even in those faculty majors that I thought would surely provide a well-paid and secure job after graduation. After a short research I set myself the goal of informing young people as much as I can about the way they are exploited by employers and what the consequences are. In short, about the existence of the precariat. Through it I had the opportunity to learn how to research, how to write interview questions and how to approach people. During the project I also learned the Slovenian language, which for me is a huge success, but also a great advantage in everyday communication. But that was not everything I did. I was part of many projects that Movement for Decent Work and Welfare Society held every year, such as their national conference, movie festival, various workshops, surveys and so on. I was soon given the chance to coordinate a project that involved a number of small projects. By leading and participating in the project, I gained a lot of knowledge and skills. I learned what project writing looks like, what documents are needed, how to communicate with people and coordinate them during project implementation, and how to approach other organizations when looking for partners. In addition to the soft skills, I also gained a lot of practical skills such as working in Excel, using Google Drive, Canva and WordPress. I enjoyed performing my daily tasks. With each passing day, I felt that I was growing and upgrading. In addition to the topic of the organization and work tasks, there was a team of employees and volunteers in the organization who helped me with the tasks, but also took care of my well-being during the project. This experience would not have been so positive without their presence. In the previous 12 months I had the chance to learn from people from different professions united by a common goal. But I am not only grateful for the opportunity to learn from them, but also for the opportunity to socialize with all of them and have fun during the project.

As the project draws to a close I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. While performing my daily tasks I was not aware of how much I am learning and progressing, but now that I am at the very end I realize that. I came to the organization as a person with insecurities and fears, and I finish the project with a lot of newly acquired knowledge and experiences that I am sure will be of great help and importance to me in the future. I end the project with many beautiful memories and feelings, but also with the desire to remain part of the fight against precariousness. I guess it’s true what they say, time flies when you are having fun.