Sharjah: The results of the ‘volunteerism survey’, which was conducted by the Friends of Breastfeeding Association of the Health Promotion Department at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, showed that learning new skills is one of the most important reasons for volunteering. Making new friends and relationships, career development and training, study requirements, and the inclination to charity work varied between the second to the fifth place, while engaging in volunteer work due to others’ encouragement came in the last position.
The study was conducted in cooperation with the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences at the University of Sharjah, on the occasion of International Volunteering Day on 5 December. About 61% of the participants were university students, 57% of citizens, and 43% residents.
The key thematic areas of the study were; how to find volunteer opportunities, challenges of volunteering, reasons and motives for participating in volunteer programs, ways to volunteer, how many times the participant was engaged in volunteer work, membership in volunteer teams, the desire to volunteer in the Friends of Breastfeeding Association, and others’ encouragement to volunteer.
Also, the study found that engagement in volunteering because of having plenty of time or financial ability came first, while the skills, specialization, and personal experience came last. As for how to find volunteer opportunities and the desire to join voluntary work, the study suggested that the communication between the associations with volunteers came first, while the individual’s search for the entities that provide volunteer opportunities came second, followed by the lack of knowledge of how to volunteer, and volunteering in the non-institutional field came last.
Her Excellency Eng. Khawla Al Noman, Head of Breastfeeding Friends Association, said: “The findings of the study showed an increase in the desire to engage in voluntary work, however, it also indicates the lack of awareness of motivating others to join volunteer work. Hence the need to enhance awareness about encouraging volunteerism and urging others to join voluntary action as a community culture by all groups and individuals of society.”
As for volunteering challenges, the study found that family commitments were the first challenge, followed by the lack of sufficient time, the burdens and various requirements of the study, the lack of others’ motivation, the lack of support for volunteering with the workload of employment, and the lack of volunteering opportunities. This underlines the need to provide new volunteering opportunities and urge business institutions and public and private universities to encourage volunteering and spread it in their institutions.
For further information, please contact:
Shereen Al Musalami
© Press Release 2020