|by Romina Oliverio|
|Published on: Oct 5, 2009|
|Vikram is a Toronto-based volunteer who joined NABUUR in 2007. Dedicating his time to various online projects, including taking on a project management role, he shares below his take on online volunteering and his experiences so far.
"Apart from being a project manager, which is my daytime job, I play in a band that produces Eastern sounds with Western Instruments – we perform in charity concerts in and around the city of Toronto. I like to call myself an amateur photographer focusing on portraits and cultures. Some of my pictures have been displayed in photo galleries. I read and also write short stories – currently working on my first book.
"My other passion apart from giving back to the community is Tea – I am studying to be a Tea Sommelier while building a tea studio to share my passion with the community. I also travel to one new country every year. Mountain Biking, Rock-Climbing, Volleyball and Tennis are some of the sports I actively participate in. I have volunteered with UN Volunteers Online prior to Nabuur.
"In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – This is one of the main reasons I got involved in online volunteering. Being in the IT industry throughout my 15 year career span, online volunteering was the right choice not just from familiarity perspective but also due to time constraints. I started volunteering with UN volunteers online program and got assigned to Nabuur. Looking at it with spiritual lens, Nabuur actually chose me and not the other way round!
"One of the key challenges of being an online volunteer is to be able to establish a sustainable virtual connection and keep them motivated with limited or no audio/visual contact. The way to overcome this at least in my humble opinion is to constantly check in and establish a 1-on-1 contact with each of your online volunteers within your program and to have a genuine interest in the ideas that they share and build relationships and friendships that last. Once in a while it also helps to try and meet some online volunteers face to face either in order to work together on a project or even to simply meet and have social networking provided there are no geographic limitations.
"My Journey along with Nabuur started from within and continues to reveal a tiny insight which is fundamentally profound, "Borders are imaginary when it comes to sharing what is universal to begin with i.e. Compassion". I have grown a lot personally over the last few years of acquaintance with this amazing organization that has a unique delivery model when it comes to online volunteering. The staff and community within Nabuur are some of the most intelligent, creative, compassionate, socially aware and caring group of people I have ever come across.
"Online volunteering significantly shrinks borders and connects people in many beautiful ways and creates an impact that is extremely meaningful and life altering. In the words of Hellen Keller –“Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves”.
"I would highly recommend every soul (both busy and free) to try out online volunteering and start making a difference in the society today."