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Organization Review

Overall Experience: 
I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone. Volunteering with ABA Foundation was one of the best decisions I could've made! The bond between the villagers and the ABA Foundation Organization made our legacy greater! It's not for the faint-hearted, but it is exciting, ever-changing and incredibly rewarding. The pinnacle of my volunteering memories at ABA Foundation was managing the preparations for the food bank that I was given temporary charge of for the last two weeks. It became fully stocked, organised and ready for its opening. We received donations from nearly one hundred individuals and two local newspapers wrote articles about it. I had never been involved in anything like this before. The closest thing I’ve ever done was helping to lead a team of students assisting people coming out of nightclubs and drug addicts while at university, but that was just a few hours each week, not all day every day. The whole dynamic is different when there’s enough time to form proper relationships, suddenly a quick fix won’t do, it’s all about long term change. Aside from all the practical skills I picked up from renovating the building (how not to spatter yourself with paint while using a roller, how to fit a sofa through a slightly-too-small door frame etc.) I’ve learned a lot from loving people I’m ashamed to say I may have previously avoided. I now have friends who are homeless, friends in prison and friends who are alcoholics, and I now understand their difficulties so much better. I am now an active member of my community in a way that I wasn’t before. Having volunteered at the ABA Foundation, I am now so much more aware of the problems faced by the community that I cannot ignore them as I did previously. I don’t see this as yet another chore though, I find the work well done through the ABA Foundation and I am delighted to be able to make a difference. From being involved in the ABA Foundation volunteering projects, I have decided that caring for people is something I’d like to do for the rest of my life, but I’d like to have a bigger skill set than good intentions. I could be tempted to return to local or international community development in the future. For anyone worried about or daunted, I would say it is best to get as involved in your local community as you can, depending on the amount of time you have to give.