Feb 15, 2020 in Exploratory

Volunteering

This paper explicates the findings of chosen articles on the topic of volunteering in Canada. The articles that have been critically analyzed in the paper are as follow: “Volunteering in Canada”, “Volunteering in Canada, 2004 to 2013”, “A Review of the Canadian Volunteer Corporation Program”, and “Giving in Canada - Filling the Gaps.” According to these articles, volunteering is fundamental in Canada since all age groups actively participate in it. Moreover, education plays an important role in terms of enlightening the population about volunteering. Generally, volunteering helps improving the welfare of individuals across the country hence reducing the levels of suffering and depression. The paper concludes that volunteering should be encouraged to facilitate the wellbeing of every person in need in Canada. 

Volunteering plays a crucial role in leisure and recreation. Basically, volunteering can be defined as an activity whereby a person or a group of individuals provide services without receiving financial gain. Volunteering is crucial for skill development as well as promotion of the quality of life. Volunteering provides benefits to both an individual and the society at large. Furthermore, it helps to provide contacts for future possible employment opportunities. Volunteering can either be formal or informal. The current paper provides an analysis of volunteering as a leisure and recreational activity in Canada. It provides an overview and discussion of volunteering, its benefits and barriers in Canada using the information from three peer-reviewed articles.

 

Article Analysis

Vézina & Crompton in their article “Volunteering in Canada”, state that there is an increased rate of Canadians participating in volunteering activities since 2010. Usually volunteering is done by the youths. It is also the case in this article since it provides information that volunteers are individuals aged 15 years and above. Therefore, according to the article, volunteers are defined as individuals aged 15 years and above who participate in activities on behalf of a particular group or organization without being paid. Furthermore, volunteering is defined as any unpaid assistance that is provided to community associations, schools and religious organizations. In addition, volunteering can be categorized into formal and informal. Thus, the article analyses the informal volunteering and defines it as the type of assistance that is given to friends, relatives as well as neighbors. According to the research provided in the article, many individuals participated in sports and recreation as well as in sectors concerned with social services as volunteers. Basically, the act of volunteering can be limited by the time barrier. Thus, Canadian youths support volunteering activities but devote less hours participating in them. Their limited dedication to volunteering can be explained by the fact that in order to graduate they are required to participate in various volunteering community services. On the other hand, the elder people in Canada do not spend a lot of time volunteering because of various factors such as illness or poor health conditions. However, many healthy elderly individuals dedicate their time to volunteering. Furthermore, in regard to the research provided in the article, unmarried Canadians are also more likely to participate in volunteering as compared to the married individuals. In addition, the widows and the widowers are less likely to participate in volunteering putting into consideration the fact that most of them are elderly. Therefore, volunteering is basically determined by the age factor.

Furthermore, education is a crucial tool in changing the individual’s point of view regarding life. Education helps transforming the life of an individual. In this regard, education is considered as a basic tool that enhances volunteering. According to the article, the educated individuals participated more in volunteering as compared to the uneducated individuals, thus education plays a crucial role in volunteering. The spirit of volunteering and helping the less fortunate in the society is bestowed on individuals from the earliest point of their lives. Therefore, individuals who have initially participated in community activities during their childhood experiences are more likely to be involved in volunteering after reaching adulthood. As adults they have an increased tendency of engaging themselves in both formal and informal volunteering, political organizations and community associations. According to the article, a large number of religiously active Canadians participate in volunteering. The conclusion that can be made from this article is that volunteering is influenced by age and education. In addition, volunteering is affected by the barrier of time.

On the other hand, volunteering should not be provided within one country but involve partnership with other countries. According to the article “A Review of the Canadian Volunteer Corporation Program”, Volunteers Corporation Agencies work in conjunction with the Canadians as well as partners from developing countries. They shape and deliver initiatives in development with the aim of bringing benefits to both participating individuals and communities in Canada and overseas. As far as the article is concerned, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) supports the international volunteer cooperation. Therefore, as part of its functioning, CIDA has identified objectives overtime that promote international volunteering. In addition, the Canadian Government supports international volunteering by promoting the following major programs; the Volunteer Cooperation Program, International Youth Internships and the Canada Corps Initiative. Moreover, the support of CIDA towards volunteer cooperation programs is significant not only for Canada but globally. 

Volunteering brings various benefits not just to an individual, but also to the whole society. The benefits of volunteering have the capacity to go beyond Canada by reaching to other parts of the globe. Thus, the article reviews the power of volunteering. According to the article, the nature of volunteering, that is when individuals forgo their high salaries, quality lifestyles and positions in the society, becomes more powerful since there is more dedication of time and resources. Apart from this, the article identifies the values of international volunteering. Therefore, international volunteering is an effective mechanism as far as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is concerned for various reasons. Firstly, it bonds the Canadians participating in volunteering with their south counterparts hence providing a basis for co-operation, actions and results that are meaningful in regard to the common goals of international volunteering. Secondly, international volunteering fosters the development of various social networks that bring positive changes both in Canada and all over the world. Therefore, it helps to mobilize the support in addition to action regarding such global concerns like HIV/AIDS and environmental degradation. It in turn leads to global cooperation among other corporations and networks that are involved in the above mentioned spheres of concern such as educational networks. Moreover, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) provides an opportunity to the Canadians to be involved in the international development via overseas education and advocacy, placement and campaigns, and thus building the capacity and expertise of Canada in International Corporation at individual, organizational and national levels. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has also provided a human face for various Canadian programs in Canada and in the South.

The rate of volunteering varies with age. The article “Volunteering in Canada, 2004 to 2013”, provides an overview of volunteering in Canada by discussing the trends of volunteering as well as the activities and sectors of volunteering in the country. According to Sinha, a large number of Canadians volunteer at some point of their life. Apart from this, the activities in volunteering in Canada can be equated to one million jobs. The youths have the highest rate of volunteering in Canada as compared to the older population. However, the youths do not spend much time on volunteering because of various interferences. On the other hand, the elders who participate in volunteering dedicate more time to volunteering. According to the article, women are more likely to participate in volunteering as compared to their male counterparts. Additionally, volunteering is more common among individuals who are highly educated as well as individuals with high income. Volunteering is also more prevalent among religious groups. Furthermore, the article provides that women have more interest in volunteering than men. Volunteering activities were also researched on the Internet because various individuals try to find information on volunteering online. Moreover, most individuals participate in volunteering with a view of developing their communities. The article identifies housework, the maintenance of homes and yard work as the most common types of informal volunteering. Therefore, in most cases, informal volunteering is done by the youths. Apart from this, individuals with higher socio-economic status participate more often in informal volunteering.

There are various volunteering activities. The activities can be done at homes, banks, hospitals and even in organizational offices. Moreover, volunteering varies depending on person’s commitment, skills and experience. Therefore, organizing events as well as raising money either on behalf of an organization or a particular group are the top volunteering activities in Canada. However, there are other volunteering activities such as teaching or mentoring, counseling or providing advice, office work such as book keeping, coaching, driving, and the protection of environment, canvassing, fire-fighting and providing first aid. However, these volunteering activities largely depend on gender. Women are more likely to be involved in such volunteering activities like organizing events, fundraising and provision of health care. On the other hand, men are more likely to participate in volunteering activities such as coaching and providing services in repair and maintenance. The article further provides that employers provide formal support to their employees participating in volunteering such as the provision of facilities for volunteering programs, the reduction of an employee’s work activities and providing transportation for employees.

According to the article, volunteering helps to reduce depression symptoms and positively influences the life span. It also leads to the reduction in functional limitations among the elderly. Furthermore, the health benefits that come with volunteering depend on the level of engaging in volunteering. Additionally, according to Sinha, the older with chronic health conditions may benefit the most from volunteering. Besides, when the older are appreciated as volunteers, the relationship that exists between volunteering and wellbeing is amplified as far as psychology is concerned. In the general sense, the article provides the view that volunteering should be encouraged because of the significant impact it has in the promotion of the health of individuals. It goes a long way into alleviating symptoms for addicts while improving the health of those already suffering from severe conditions such as the elderly. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, volunteering can either be formal or informal. In addition, it involves the act of providing services without receiving financial gain. Furthermore, volunteering is based on age, education, marital status, early life experiences, source of income and religion. According to the research provided in the discussed articles, the youth are more often prone to participating in volunteering as compared to the elderly. In addition, the educated individuals are more likely to participate in volunteering as compared to the uneducated population. Furthermore, individuals who participated in community services during childhood are more likely to engage themselves in volunteering during the adulthood stage. Volunteering has numerous benefits such as improving interpersonal skills and developing the community. Volunteering can take place in various spheres such as in sports and in social services. However, there are various barriers to volunteering, namely time and age. The time barrier hinders volunteering since an individual might be willing to participate in volunteering but he/she might lack enough time for it. For instance, the youths might be willing to participate in volunteering but they may lack adequate time because of schooling. As far as the age barrier is concerned, often, the elderly are not able to participate in volunteering because of poor health conditions. 

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