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TO KNOW, TO WORK & TO GROW WITH THE DISABLED
Throughout my tenure as a volunteer in the past ten years, I have indeed had a wonderful experience in getting along and growing together with the disabled members. It is also my hope to be to share my view of experience albeit limited with others in respect of the volunteer ism in conjunction with BG’s 10-year anniversary.
The conventional way of viewing volunteerism is to provide necessary assistance in helping the disabled in the physical forms. It is not always intended to be long period oriented; and many people “come and go” and there isn’t really much communication between the disabled group and the volunteers.
Volunteer ism nowadays should gear towards not only the physical aspect but also to look into the other aspects like personal and spiritual needs in respect of the support rendered.
Volunteerism has to always be associated with friendship between the two. I must confess that in the beginning stage of encountering the disabled, I find it difficult to get close to them and worry to may hurt them in words or in various aspects. I felt pity on them and could not comprehend the way of their living.
However, in making attempts to get along with them and being part of the Group, I have come to hang around with. As volunteers approaching the disabled, there are few aspects to take into consideration in getting along with them.
To begin with, volunteers have to examine their perception and attitude towards the disabled. This is often the deciding factor if a person is to befriend another. Our value system often carries the fundamental believe and positions. It has the element of morality, worthiness and perception of value.
Throughout the experience of visiting families comprising disabled members, it is always thought that having a disabled member is a shameful thing in the society. It is not even surprised to find that family members despised disabled family members of their own. In facing the disabled as a volunteer, volunteer ought to have an appropriate perception towards the disabled entity and should not feel embarrassed and shameful of their existence and companion.
In offering our friendship towards the disabled, we have to be sincere and not having pity on them. Our attitude and opinions on them can often have a direct impact towards their behaviors and emotions. Many disabled members give high regards to volunteers around them. Treat them with the right attitude and dignity. Never do things on ground of sympathy and pity.
In establishing a life long relationship, and in order to communicate more effectively to them, it is imperative that we understand some barriers before rendering out assistance to them.
Lack of confidence / Inferiority Complex
Anger and Defensive
Irony and Perfectionist
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