A Pathway to Social Participation – Building Communities through Skilled Volunteering

Professional development and social participation can be achieved without having to look too far beyond your career when you apply the skills you have to a social cause. Social Participation is the level of involvement you have with other people in the community and your connection to society. It forms part of the pillars of the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which endeavours to promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.

 The UN has recognised that the foundation for economic security and inclusion in the community, is giving everyone an equal opportunity to improve their livelihoods and empowering people to seek better employment opportunities. Achieving a goal that is so broad in its scope may seem unattainable on your own, yet there are so many ways that it aligns with your career progression. 

What is Skill-Based Volunteering? 

Skills-based volunteering an avenue for making a positive contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals, in a way that yields personal benefits and provides a stepping stone for gaining a greater sense of job satisfaction. Through contributing your professional skills and expertise to supporting a volunteer organisations’ internal operation, you can strengthen their infrastructure and capacity of the organisation. It is an innovative approach to community engagement which matches an employee’s workplace skills and knowledge with the needs of a volunteer organisation in order to increase their impact in the community. Skills-based volunteering is a driver of social change – it ensures that volunteer organisations can expand their reach and maximise their impact while giving you an opportunity to build leadership skills and give back to the community. 

Why The Sustainable Development Goals? 

Working towards the Sustainable Development Goals connects us to a community of purposeful individuals working towards a common goal. According to the CEO of The Centre for Volunteering Gemma Rygate; the person championing the peak body in NSW for supporting volunteering and community participation, “The focus on the Sustainable Development Goals is a really key thing because everybody who volunteers wants to see an outcome of some kind. If we are all working with the Sustainable Development Goals in mind, then we are doing something really amazing and powerful.” 

You don’t have to completely change your life to maximise community engagement, it can be achieved by searching for meaningful ways to give back to the community throughout your career. Applying your skills and expertise towards finding solutions for a social cause that a volunteer organisation is aligned with, underpins the realisation of Sustainable Development Goals. It builds a strong team of people who can go out and improve other people’s lives while enhancing your ability to lead a group of people who are passionate about doing something more than what they do behind a desk. 

Written by Annie Renouf, Content Writer at Communiteer. 

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