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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Becoming a YFU Volunteer - A Little Cog in a Big Machine

This post was written by Yana, a former exchange student in Germany and one of our YFU Bulgaria volunteers. 

Hello! My name is Yana and I am a volunteer at Youth For Understanding Bulgaria. I was on exchange in Germany during 2012/2013, and it completely changed my life. While in Germany, I met so many people who worked and volunteered for YFU. Without their efforts YFU would not exist, as even the smallest contributions are always part of something big and important.

Upon my return to Bulgaria, I wanted to help and contribute to the YFU community, since they had given so much to me, and I became a volunteer in the YFU Bulgaria office. At first I only did small tasks, like translating documents and giving a presentation about my exchange year. As my experience grew, they also asked me to be a mentor to an inbound student from Estonia.

Little by little, I realised how much the staff of YFU Bulgaria appreciated my efforts, even for the smallest things. I started to take on more and more responsibility, hoping to make their work easier. My efforts are always rewarded with smiles, warmth and further confidence in my abilities. This has taught me that all help is important and everything I do is significant, because no machine can move without the help of the small cogs.
I am one of the many cogs in our organisation - I am small, but I am important!

I know there are many young people like me: bubbly, full of ideas and with a desire to conquer the world. But conquering the world, as great as it sounds, must start with something small, and the small things will slowly but surely bring you to your goal.

To me, volunteering for YFU is like a calling, and it was impossible not to get involved. You can’t help but admire the work they do, and this is especially true if you know how much effort goes into sending students abroad! There are a lot of people behind the scenes at YFU. While they rarely stand up to reap the fruits of their labor, these are the people who make everything happen.

However, even they can't do it all themselves. At the end of the day, YFU will always need help from volunteers; people who appreciate what they do and who are willing to work alongside them to change students' lives. I am extremely proud to say that I am a part of this organisation. I know I am working for something bigger than me, something global--something that will have a positive impact on even the most disinterested people in the world!

Most YFU organisations need volunteers year-round, so if you're interested in having a lot of fun and adding some great experience to your CV, then contact your local organisation to see how you can help them. Go to yfu.org to see a list of our organisations and their contact details. 

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