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Social Capital and Volunteers*
*The ideas, thoughts, and opinions expressed are not necessarily of the OAS nor of its member states. The opinions expressed are the responsibility of the authors.
1. Do you currently participate in or would you be interested in
participating in some sort of volunteer work?
I currently coordinate the area of "Actions with the Community" in a company in Argentina. Throughout the past year we have implemented a Corporative Volunteer Program in different provinces of Argentina where the goal is to carry out projects in which the managers are the employees themselves in conjunction with their communities' social institutions.
I currently work as a volunteer in an organization with a program of social control.
I am not currently involved in this type of work but am greatly interested in this type of activity!
I am very interested in working as a volunteer in the area of community management of the environment.
Through the years I have participated as a volunteer in several fields. In the 90's I started working with many organizations in the area of health. My work as a volunteer is in prevention and education, specially in the field of HIV/AIDS. The volunteer work is a very important way to help the socio-political movements and an extraordinary way to learn new key abilities. Today, I work as a volunteer in a board of directors of a preparatory school in my neighborhood, and although I have more experience in non-profit organizations, prevention, and health education I greatly enjoy contributing in whatever activity I can.
2. Do you think that actions for mobilizing
volunteers could help to unite society?
The volunteer actions favor the social integration as all the social actors agree upon objectives and different ways to work together in order to consolidate social networks, improves association and generates trust, which are basic components for the development of social capital.
Yes, if we integrate our efforts and willingness to work together we can achieve all our objectives.
Volunteers are the pillar that make possible the movement and integration of a variety of groups in a community.
Yes, the volunteer work is a social process, permanent and dynamic, through which such organizations can contribute and decide upon aspects of the development in question.
Yes, in a world full of problems the volunteer participation is key in helping us become more united and enabling us to fight against poverty, so that developing countries are able to acquire a better quality of life.
3. What role do you think volunteer work should play in the
solution of problems faced by the countries of the region?
Undoubtedly the volunteer work begins to play a key role in the active participation of the communities to the solution of their problems.
First, we need to involve all the sectors of the civil society in paying attention and searching for solutions to the problems faced by the more vulnerable groups of society.