Try volunteering as an expat and make a difference!
February • 9th, 2021
by Klem Kowalczyk
Making a difference - everyone can do it
I remember when the time paused, and I froze staring at a handle of the hospice doors. My heart was beating so fast and my thoughts were rapidly barging into my head: “What am I supposed to say?! This is awkward, I don’t even know what to do!”. I pressed the handle and armed myself with the only weapon I could think of at the moment - a smile. In front of me there were 2 elderly ladies slowly raising their heads to see who came in.
That was the day when I first volunteered at a hospice at the age of 12 and I was supposed to spend time with elderly people and bring a bit of happiness and warmth to the few months that were left of their lives. As you can imagine, It wasn’t easy at all, but it taught me one of the most important lessons in my life – a small gesture can make a HUGE difference.
Everyone can make a difference, and everyone should try, even if you live abroad. Mother Teresa, Thomas Edison, Malala Yousafzai... They wrote their own message to the world and it was BIG. Do you believe that you can make a difference in this world? Do you know what you want your message to be about?
Being an expat shifts our focus to setting up a new life, making new friends and finding new favourite places abroad. We all get up and go to work each day and spend hours being self-absorbed with our work and family lives. We long for a feeling of a greater sense of purpose and a true bond with others. One way to find it is volunteering. But watch out, here’s a spoiler: you’re not only doing good to others. “Doing good does you good”. Studies have shown a positive impact of volunteering on our happiness, social bonding and mental health. Making a difference through volunteering is not about the outcomes, it is about the actions themselves. What a yogi way of thinking!
Everyone, EVERY-SINGLE-ONE-OF-US, can and should try to make a difference. Sometimes it is as simple as pressing on a handle of the hospice doors and giving someone a smile. Making a difference for others makes the biggest difference in you and you can do this regardless where you live. So, write your own message to the world. What should the world hear about you?
Klem is the founder of the Breathe and Live Yoga School, the Yogi community caring for the Planet and Reloop Wear, the circular clothing brand to make Earth a better place to live in. Passionate about sustainability and making a difference in this world, while exploring it in her free time.