|by Romina Oliverio|
|Published on: Oct 4, 2009|
|Sonja is an online volunteer who has devoted her skills to the NABUUR organization since 2007. She is actively involved in many projects, including her role as online project manager. Below she shares her thoughts on virtual volunteering.
"I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I studied economics in my home country and as student I volunteered as a peer educator, teaching in secondary schools about HIV/AIDS and other STDs. I also helped to organize an English Club for the youth to improve their skills in English language. After graduation I moved to Sweden where I earned master degree in business administration. Now I am back home in Bosnia, working in a bank in finance department.
"I have had positive experience with volunteering – on one hand it is very fulfilling; on the other, it is useful for gaining new experience and skills. While studying in Sweden I have had neither time nor possibility to do some field work, so I searched for an opportunity on onlinevolunteering.org and found Nabuur’s advertisement for project managers. I checked the website and loved the concept – to be involved directly with local communities.
"On NABUUR projects, we use real time chats very often as one of the most effective means of online communication. But sometimes a problem appears, when the team consists of the people from all over the globe, since we all have different time zone. Sometimes it takes some time to organize it so that it fits everyone’s schedule. On the other hand, it is a great advantage to have such a culturally and geographically diverse team.
"This work enables me to make a contribution somewhere where it is very much needed. It is such a reward to see that a bit of your time invested in a right way can make a difference for someone less fortunate.
"Another thing is that I make beautiful friendships with people around the world. Though we come from different cultures, we all have one thing in common – we are volunteers and we are focused to make a difference. And that mutual interest makes us really connected, though most of us never met in person.
"Besides, I feel I’m developing some important skills and knowledge in many areas, such as agriculture, project management and people skills most of all. Working with people with so diverse cultural backgrounds, motivating and leading them is really challenging and fulfilling.
"The most amazing thing with all that is that you do everything from behind your computer and at time that fits you and your schedule. I would warmly recommend everyone to try with volunteering online."