2.2.1. What is Community?
Community: Olaves take opportunities to make a positive difference in their communities through volunteering, service and advocacy.
This could involve:
- Taking action to improve your community
- Developing an understanding of global issues and sharing your knowledge with others
- Volunteering at events and activities
- Connecting with a range of diverse groups within your community
- Developing and implementing a project of your own or with likeminded people
- Supporting Guiding at a local, state, national and international level
- Speaking out on issues you are passionate about
- Working in partnerships with other organisations to implement positive change
Olaves are all connected to a variety of different communities, and take opportunities to contribute in a positive way to the growth, development or happiness of their communities.
Volunteering is any activity within a community that is performed without expectation of payment or reward. It can be a one-off activity, or a regular commitment. Examples of volunteering include having other roles within Guiding (for example, a Unit Leader or a Free Being Me Project Leader), or an involvement with an external organisation (such as St John’s Ambulance).
Although there is no clear distinction between service and volunteering, service tends to be more about projects that will improve the community. Collecting donations for a women’s refuge or spending a day tree-planting would be examples of service projects. These can be short-term or long-term projects.
Advocacy is defined by WAGGGS as “influencing people to take decisions that will improve our lives and the lives of others”. Whatever the issue, advocacy is about taking a stand and working for positive change. Advocacy involves speaking out, doing and educating. For Olaves and Guides around the world, this involves speaking out about important issues that affect girls and young women, developing projects which directly improve people’ lives, and educating girls and other young women so they can positively change the world around them.
Olaves are encouraged to explore making a contribution to their communities via all three methods – volunteering, service and advocacy.
“The Olave Program has enabled me to be an advocate to my friends about not burying your head in the sand when it comes to women’s health.”
2.2.2. Ideas for Community activities
“I love helping other people as it makes me feel more positive about myself.”
- Volunteering with a Guide Unit
- Sitting on a region, state or national Guiding committee such as a property committee or the state Program Committee
- Running or assisting with a project or event in Guiding
- Making useful items for people in the community such as knitted blankets, journals or breast care bags
- Taking on a manager role in Guiding such as Region Manager or District Manager
- Collecting items such toiletries for women’s refuges, or canned food for a food bank
- Volunteering at community events such fun runs, pride marches or sausage sizzles
- Participating in social justice campaigns such as Stand Up Against Poverty
- Volunteering with another organisation such as Ronald McDonald House or Oxfam
- Learning skills to benefit the community such as first aid, lifesaving or fire fighting
- Participating in a WAGGGS advocacy project such as Stop the Violence
- Take action on a UN Day such as International Day of the Girl
- Providing service to Guiding properties through repairs, maintenance or cleaning
- Providing support within a Peer Group to other Olaves
- Fundraising for worthy causes
- Assisting the environment by participating in a conservation effort
- Helping vulnerable groups such as refugees, victims of crime or violence, the elderly, children or new migrants
- Sharing knowledge of your community including civic responsibilities with others
- Developing advocacy skills in others
- Bringing together different community groups for shared events or projects
Volunteering Australia: http://www.volunteeringaustralia.org/
WAGGGS Advocacy information, toolkits and opportunities: http://www.wagggs.org/en/about/relevance/advocacy
Last Modified: 07/09/15 at 9:20 PM