How volunteering with Raleigh helped me find my purpose as an employee

29th April 2020

Volunteering helps you change lives, but it also changes you. Through Raleigh’s partnership with RB, RB employee Shalini volunteered in Tanzania to lead and support young volunteers and communities to create change on a water, sanitation and hygiene project. Now she reflects on her Raleigh experience and how it helped her find purpose as an employee.

Purpose is now a buzz term used amongst many employers and employees. It’s a crucial factor in job satisfaction, employee retention, career fulfilment and even organizational drivers. I define purpose as a combining formula between skill, passion and external need. Concepts like ‘Ikigai’, the Japanese concept meaning your ‘reason for being’ embodies this understanding.

For me, the Raleigh long-term volunteering experience helped me find purpose. It was like a piece in a puzzle which, when put with all other pieces, blended in perfect harmony. It brought together:

  • My qualifications and skills in science and public health
  • My experience working in Regulatory Affairs in RB
  • My interest in health education
  • My passion in volunteering and personal growth

My skills, experience, interests and passion fit together to make my volunteer experience worthwhile and truly remarkable, contributing to finding my ‘Purpose’.

The Japanese concept of Ikigai captures your purpose

Volunteering with Raleigh gave me the opportunity to volunteer in an area I was interested in (education, health and environment) while also helping me to develop as a person. It was the first time I managed a team this big and had so much end-to-end responsibility while supporting sustainable development at the grass-root level. It helped me build my leadership skills and to build resilience.

It was remarkable living with the locals as we engaged in the projects. While some of the households were basic with limited access to water, electricity and other amenities, our homestays made us feel like part of the family and went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable and safe.

Shalini lead young volunteers on their sustainability projects

I have learnt a lot from this experience which will help me in the world of work but also in life overall. I learnt:

1. Perspective, optimism and resilience – importance of maintaining perspective and believing in the goodness of people and society. It is important not to let the everyday battles wear you down or cloud your vision of the bigger purpose you want to serve. There is so much potential out there, so remind yourself to be optimistic, build resilience, and find ways to be part of that goodness.

2. To take the time to get to know people beyond your ‘immediate circle’ – hearing their stories, perspectives and really getting to know them is vital. You will find inspiration in even the unlikeliest of individuals which could change your life for the better.

3. That volunteering is never a waste of time – volunteering has been my main source of satisfaction and fulfilment of ‘purpose’ and has been the biggest drivers to keep me going in low times. Find what you are passionate about and volunteer in.

Team work is just one of many skills volunteers develop on Raleigh

To RB, I am truly grateful and humbled by the experience. The company invests in its people, like me, to have the opportunity to pursue their passions. Opportunities like Raleigh fit so well with RB’s mission ‘to Protect, Heal and Nurture – united in the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world’, so it is a partnership that works for everyone.

My Raleigh experience has left me feeling optimistic about the future, as well as realistic in what is needed to achieve positive changes. It has shown me how much good there is in the world to appreciate and look forward to. For every negative story we may hear, there are 10 amazing positive ones of people helping others and amazing breakthroughs in science and technology that can help saves lives and improve health. Young people are crucial in amplifying this ripple effect and truly making an impactful change – the work Raleigh is doing is a testament to this!


Shalini is just one of many RB employees who have made a difference with Raleigh. Together they are contributing to creating long-lasting change that contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

 

Related posts

Blog
COVID-19 could not halt WASH Project
Blog
Hygiene must be inclusive for all