Celebrating the international day of volunteering 5th December 2021
Over 100 volunteers and staff got together to celebrate the international volunteer day at Ilford. There were speeches from staff , young volunteers, partners organisation
Luljeta CEO said
Volunteers and friends,
It is my pleasure to be at this event, to celebrate for the first time the International Day of Volunteers here at Shpresa
We always have celebrated the national week of volunteering 1-7th June but this year we decided to go bigger as we are maturing as an organisation we are learning more , we are going beyond the Albanain community, beyond our local community , beyond London and now we are looking and learning how our little work can be part of the bigger movement , we are learning to go international
This event is particularly meaningful as we are paying tribute to the dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers from the Albanian community and the emergency volunteers who were recruited during covid10 first lock down .
This year the theme of the international volunteering day is what we have worked for the past 20 years
Volunteer now for our common future
Through our work we aim to inspire people, to take action NOW for people and the planet and believe that everyone has the ability to do that
A bit about this day
The United Nations Volunteers Programme (UNV) coordinates International Volunteer Day on 5 December every year to recognize and promote the tireless work, not just of UN Volunteers, but of volunteers across the globe. Every day, volunteers dedicate time and effort to ensure the inclusion of those often left behind, drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
When people are encouraged to get involved in solving problems, the solutions are more likely to be feasible and lasting. Volunteers engage communities and build a people-centric movement to help build a better and safer future for us all.
For the generations of TOMORROW, we must take responsibility for the changes needed to build a better future NOW. Encouraging, recognizing and promoting volunteerism is an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for communities and worldwide.
May I, first of all, invite all of you to stand up and give each other and those who can’t be present a round of applause as a sign of appreciation , and achievements
We know Volunteers do make a lot of difference. Long before the Governments recognised and initiated the “Volunteer Movement”, many individuals and organisations had been devoting countless hours of volunteer work to help the needy, spreading love and care in the society and sustaining social cohesion. However at the Albanian community the governments failed to inspire people about it and see the benefits , in Albanian for 45 years the voluntarism was forced ad since 91 we have dealt with many social issues that have been divisive for the community to do just that. maybe on the years to come this will change and for this we tonight take a stand and promise to paly our part
Here at Shpresa we have tried to bring about the culture shift and use volunteering for deeper and better reason
We wanted to bring hope while offering help to our members who were very often were feeling vulnerable and were seeking help
We wanted everyone to understand and use volunteering as a tool to improve health , gain skills , have fun and give something back to an organisation that had impacted on their life, either directly or indirectly as well
And this investment and work showed that our volunteers we were able to :
- make a difference to the lives of others
- help the environment
- help others less fortunate or without a voice
- feel valued and part of a team
- spend quality time away from work or a busy lifestyle
- gain confidence and self-esteem.
- a route to employment, or a chance to try something new which may lead to a career change.
From this perspective, volunteering was new way of:
- gaining new skills, knowledge and experience
- developing existing skills and knowledge
- enhancing a CV
- improving one’s employment prospects
- gaining an accreditation
- using one’s professional skills and knowledge to benefit others (usually described as pro bono).
For others, it was beneficial because of its social benefits. These include:
- meeting new people and making new friends
- a chance to socialise
- getting to know the local community.
- A chance to feel and help those who are discriminated in silence or suffering in silence
For some other , volunteering worked because of its health benefits
- Their Improved physical and mental health.
- It provided a sense of purpose and taught valuable skills.
- They Nurtured new and existing relationships
Shpresa has indeed mobilised a very valuable social resource to serve the community, lighting up the lives of not only the beneficiaries, but the benefactors themselves.
So we turned the table around helping people not only to help themselves but discover that they can help others too
As volunteers would know best, GIVING is a greater blessing than receiving.
One thing that the society can take from Shpresa is that “Everyone has something to 0ffer , everyone can be a volunteer in their daily life by helping others anytime, anywhere. “
It can be as simple as offering your helping hand to someone who needs a letter to be read, a daily short phone call, helping the elderly next door, giving professional advice to charitable organisations, or sponsoring a refugee child somewhere in the world.
As i mentioned above over this 20 years at Shpresa we have learned that volunteering can help to improve help , skills , network , access . it makes us happier
in the next 20 years we will call for a “third-level volunteering” which means everyone living out the spirit of a volunteer in one’s daily life, and that it becomes part of our nature to help others whenever a need arises.
Behind each volunteer is the facilitating tasks done by the volunteer teams here at Shpresa.
I can’t thank enough
Evis Bodlli – the founder and creator of the Women’s Volunteering project as we well as Accountancy for all and at the same time the Head of finances
Flutra Shega the founder of the Albanain school and Lead of the Breaking the Chains and Young researchers team
Alketa Hystuma and Silvana Ahmeti – The lead of the advocacy project
Ledisjana Lala, Mirela Hasimvllari and Valbona Ademaj – lead of the empower women project
Clea Grady, Amina Meshnuni Lediana Pajaj and Daniel – lead for the digitalisation
Esme Madill – Co founder of the emergency response and Breaking the chains project
Brenda Roche , Marnie freeman , Rachel young , Andre Demushi for our monitoring and evaluation work
Evis Sukaj and Saime Dushku and Gentiana Vasili – for support of the TA and young leaders /young champions
We said goodbye to some very dedicate staff , with whom now we work to build further partnership
Emi Emirjeta Gjoni
With the organisation’s network and expertise, volunteers are able to identify service opportunities and acquire the necessary skills. Many charitable organisations in UK are recruiting and helping volunteers, but SHPRESA I believe stands out among them. As it has managed to bring about a culture shift
For the first time during covid we recruited in mass to help with easy the impact of covid and they were 92 none Albanian speaking volunteers, they were the savours for so many on their roles as befrienders, story tellers, food delivery, fundraises, this started as a short response but some of the volunteers are still helping , fighting , playing an active role
My congratulations go to those who are going to receive the awards tonight.
This is not only a recognition given by Shpresa, but also a milestone of your dedication and long service offered to our community Lastly, let me wish you and everyone at Shpresa for its success in the past 20 years. Also, I would like to call for your support to the promotion of volunteerism by Shpresa so that together we can make a difference and contribute to a more harmonious and caring society here.
Thanks for the Difference You’ve Made
Because of you…
Someone have will have enough to eat tonight.
Someone have will have decent clothes to wear.
Someone have will have shelter.
Someone have will receive medical care.
Someone will learn the skills they need to survive and succeed.
Someone knows there’s at least one person in this world who cares.
Someone has or is about to fight your corner
This world is a better place because you volunteered, and we thank you for it.
After that the young people recognised those that have hold them and have helped them to now volunteer, access training , university fell safe healthier
Miclu team gave out the certificates to the Immigration Champions and Shpresa team gave out the award for the volunteers nominated by their peers
Be the change ,
Manjola Mjetaj, Vera Celkupa, Esmeralda Lalaj, Denada Dedej , Oriola Uka, Ledjana Pajaj
Rebeca Marku, Vera Picary , Donisa Kastrati, Bukurie kastarti ,Enkeleda Mera,
Arlinda , Kejdi Adela , Serm , Sibora
Emergency response volunteer
Clea Grady, Jane Lund, Hellen stack, Helen Wing, Louise garner, Abigail Hands, Rachel Alsop, Katheleen Lennon, Aye Visutrakaew, Cath Heinemeyer, Anais Crane, Sue Osborne, Survi Patel, Phil Roberts, Amarjit Ahluwalia, Simon Parker , Esme Madill
The dance , the food and the atmosphere that the singer from the Lura Folk group who had come from Albania for Free and the singer Vera Picari who is also a volunteer at Shpresa was amazing !
The team of the researchers from the LOHST project, the staff from Croydon drop in and the team, from Miclu dance with everyone and enjoyed , the presentation , the food , the signing and the award
Everyone left feeling wonderful.