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VOLUNTEERING AT LOCAL AFRICAN COMMUNITY(Reflective portfolio ) - Essay Example

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Name of the of the Concerned Professor Subject 26 February 2010 Volunteering at Local Somali Community (Reflective Portfolio) Introduction Though, I volunteered, motivated by ample hope and enthusiasm, my overall experience as an administrative assistant with the West Midlands Somali Association turned out to be much more insightful and inspiring than I initially expected…
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Download file to see previous pages To a great extent, I feel that I was ideally suited for this volunteering opportunity. Since my childhood, I had been a gregarious and community oriented person, who felt comfortable in groups comprising of individuals with diverse cultural and ethnic background. In fact I found such an environment really educative and stimulating. So, when I got a chance to work as an administrative assistant with the West Midlands Somali Association, I instinctively knew I had made the right decision. While serving with this organization, I expected to get a firsthand experience, as to how young people of Somali origin felt like being in the UK? What were the administrative, social, cultural and financial problems that aided or inhibited their integration into the essentially British mainstream? Besides, I was curious to know that whether it was pragmatic to categorize all the Black people as one monolithic group and assume that they faced the same problems, or whether their existed subgroups amongst the African community in Birmingham , which faced problems that were specific to their culture, origin and community (Kyambi 2005)? The objective was to approach the given opportunity with an open and receptive mindset, so as to extend maximum assistance and to seek ample insight, knowledge and experience. Contribution Made to the Aims and Objectives of the Organization I really feel proud and glad to realize that during my time spent with the West Midlands Somali Association, I was able to make immense contribution to the aims and objective of the organization in the following ways: Office Paper Work One of the main objectives of the organization was to coordinate and collaborate with the local government bodies and charities to seek maximum assistance for the education, entertainment and integration of the local Somali youth (Rutter 2006). The job involved ample paper work as filling forms, filing reports, sending mails, etc. Besides, the young people who sought assistance from the attached organizations like Relief4Africa, British Yemini Project, SOVA Midlands Area Office, London Somali Youth Forum, or needed employment or housing were required to deal with ample paperwork, which they found immensely cumbersome because of their lack of proficiency in the English language (Save the Children 1994). At West Midlands Somali Association, my services proved to be of immense help in that context. I not only helped in the regular office paperwork, but also assisted and guided the young people with soliciting and filing the necessary forms and affidavits. Health As per my first hand experience, the Somali community in Birmingham faced many health related issues. The young people not only faced many diseases related to poor nutrition, but also psychological issues like anxiety disorders and depression (Ingram 2009). Besides, they also faced barriers to access to health facilities, not only owing to language problems, but also owing to a lack of trained volunteers and interpreters who could pass them on the exact and sometimes culturally sensitive information pertaining to their health problems. In that context, my language skills and knowledge turned out to be of immense help. In a way, I acted as a guide and interpreter, who served as a facilitator between the local health workers and authorities and the young people facing health ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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