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PROMOTING VOLUNTEERING TO DEVELOP YOUNG PEOPLE'S SKILLS

The value of volunteering is often overlooked by some young people, those responsible for implementing youth-focused programs and those in the private sector wishing to employ young people. Whether you are a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) or a private company, you have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the development of young people through volunteering. Based on the experience of AEI's director in managing youth associations and programs, here are 4 reasons why volunteering is important for developing young people's skills:

4 reasons why volunteering is important for developing young people's skills

Putting theoretical knowledge into practice:

Depending on the young people's field of specialization, they have the opportunity to put their theoretical knowledge into practice in a real working environment. A marketing and communications student, for example, could learn how to develop and implement a marketing strategy, or discover what digital marketing is all about, during a volunteering experience.


Discover and develop new skills:

Volunteering allows young people to discover new interests that they might not otherwise have thought of. That is why it is so important for young people to be open to new opportunities. As student in finance, it was through volunteering that AEI Director discovered her interest in youth development and entrepreneurship, leading to the creation of an association in this field, with other volunteers.


Learning from mistakes to improve:

Volunteering offers young people a space to make mistakes and learn from them in order to improve. A Finance student may be asked to manage an organization's finances as a volunteer, and through this practical experience, learn from his or her mistakes to propose and implement new, more efficient management procedures for the organization. This experience benefits both the student and the host organization.


Creation of a solid network of resource persons:

Whatever the type of organization in which the young person volunteers, or his or her field of expertise, as a volunteer he or she will meet new people from different backgrounds, with whom he or she will share similar interests. These links could, in the short or long term, open the door to future employment and/or business creation opportunities.


Author:

Massandjé Touré is Director of AEI. Passionate about youth development and entrepreneurship, she has nearly 10 years of experience in managing youth organizations with high social impact. Massandjé is also co-founder of SU-KAAYA, an association which provides young people with digital and professional skills through coaching and mentoring.

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