Hana Fukui

Interview#2: The Voices of Volunteers in LONDON

When walking around in London, you may stumble upon many charities and volunteer activities, such as fund-raising, from shopping streets to train stations.
This week, I hunted the voices of people who volunteer. Charities in London are now definitely developing a diverse narrative by involving people around the world through social media.

Sarah is a volunteer of Central Florida Jobs Initiative, a support program for poor and disadvantaged children in Asia. She calls for fund-raising at stations after work.

“When I came from the Philippines, one Christian community had helped me a lot. It let me develop my belief that if each of us focus on only him/herself, we cannot hold our society.
“ I knew that many children in my country needed a help, so I decided to dedicate myself to their life as the Christian community had done for me.”

Nosh, who came from Istanbul a few years ago, works as a volunteer of Sufra, which collects food for people living in poverty.

She said: “Through various studies in London, I thought I had been lucky having had food, family, etc., but I also knew there were people who were not so blessed.
“So, I decided to give back my sense of happiness to them. When I try to understand people, who have troubles that I have never experienced, I can be touching.”

Mikkel Iversen is a founder of Under One Sky, a charity supporting the homeless in London.
He has utilised its Facebook page to increase in the volunteering staff from eight to 250 in only five years. He posted pictures and videos of the homeless.
The visual storytelling led people to share the information with their friends to think about joining the activities together.

“Now I am no longer worried about if I can collect plenty of volunteers for our next activity.
“Always, once I say: ‘Hey, who can help us on DATE at Place?’ on the page, lots of people quickly respond ‘YES’.

“The Facebook page helps to connect such a big number of volunteers. My pleasure is that some of them start to make a new group for the other charities.
“Under One Sky’s member’s religions and race are mixed. Currently, we found Manchester team and activities in Madrid so young participants could be more.”

Many people came from overseas are now volunteering in London, so you can definitely have a good international exchange by joining these activities.
And the charities themselves start to understand various people’s problems and support them globally.

In terms of ‘globalization’, we tend to focus on ‘trade’, ‘growing-up of information-society’ and ‘international-relations’. However, the fact that absolute international exchange happens a lot in charitable activities proves that people really start to help each other across borders.

In particular, it is pleasure that the most important sector of the development has been a widespread of social media.

I hope that many more young people further expand the power of volunteering globally from London in the future by maximizing its diversity and media.

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