Funmilola Awosanya has dedicated her free time to volunteering. She has over five years of experience as an insurance broker, advocate for women and girls development, and business development in the nonprofit sector. She earned a Higher National Diploma in Insurance from Lagos State Polytechnic in Nigeria.

Being the founder of an online one-stop forum, she’s trained youths on vocational skills, entrepreneurial skills, and business development, and also advocated for quality education. As the Founder of oppourtunities.com, she led entrepreneurship programs that equip young women and men on hand skills and empowered them through entrepreneurship, business, career, leadership, and advocacy.

Funmilola has volunteered as a lecturing and overseeing committee, youth advocate, an agent of change, for diverse organizations including the Young African Leadership Initiative West Africa Region, Makoko Dream Project, and Young Transformation Initiative.

Through these experiences Funmilola has developed skills in capacity building, leadership development, mentoring, community service, business development, and project planning and implementation.

In this article, she highlights how volunteering has played a big role in her career and personal growth.

When you volunteer for either small, local or international project, you change something the world. Click To Tweet

On becoming a volunteer…

I started volunteering in 2017 after joining the Yali Network Face2Face Facebook group. It all started when I began to connect with members from different parts of the world.

One day, the founder of Makoko Dream Project – Emmanuel Agunze posted a volunteering advert for people who can join him on his quest in advocating for quality education which I saw was in line with what I do. I joined his volunteering team and haven’t looked back since then.

Why volunteering is powerful…

Volunteering is a powerful tool for you to gain new skills which can be used for your academic and professional careers as it gives you the opportunity to be part of something big.

When you volunteer for either small, local or international project, you change something the world. Winston Churchill said we make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.

Volunteering is powerful as it allows you to be part of a team who put smile and hope on others.

Most local and international opportunities like scholarship, conferences, summit, and others request for working experience in which volunteering is also accepted as a working experience so you can see how powerful volunteering is.

Most people acquire their working experience through volunteering.

 

On where and how to volunteer for a social cause…

You don’t have to be in a group before you can volunteer. Most youths are just lazy to make use of their phones to search for opportunities.

You can follow or check some certain websites to get new and current volunteering opportunities. Subscribe to their websites/ newsletters to get updates and also follow organizations on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as they post most opportunities their too.

 

On balancing volunteering with a full-time job…

Most volunteering gigs are not full time. If you have a full-time job and the passion to volunteer, all you need to do is to identify part-time volunteering programs/ project you can get involved with, which will not affect your job.

I for one, always go for volunteering programs during the weekends and holiday time.

On impacting people through volunteering

Through volunteering have been able to make an impact in the Makoko community through the Makoko Dream Project.

Volunteering for the Makoko Dream Project has given me the chance to partake and contribute to various educational projects, Christmas party project, Medical Outreach in Makoko which has impacted over 100 children and women.

I’ve been able to make an impact also while I was volunteering as a mentor for the Young African Leadership Initiative West Africa Online Cohort 5, I was able to mentor over 2 participants intensively, encourage and motivated them in completing their various community projects and program at large.

Also, I mentored over 80 participants of the Young Transformation Initiative where I was volunteered as a facilitator.

5 things I’ve gained from volunteering…

  • Becoming part of a community of young change makers
  • Having a sense of fulfillment
  • Its opened my eyes to things happening in my community which needed extra help
  • I’ve learned new skills

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