Building confidence and commitment through online volunteering

07 June 2017
Néstor Liendo
I think that it is not only about what one can give as a volunteer, but also about what one receives: new contacts, references, projects, the satisfaction of contributing and being part of something bigger, the learning coming out of a challenge of this kind.
UN Online Volunteer Néstor Liendo is a blogger specialized in digital and corporate communications. He is committed to human development, and interested in projecting ideas, options, strategies and/or messages that can inspire positive actions.
UN Online Volunteer Néstor Liendo (Venezuela) is a blogger specialized in digital and corporate communications. He is committed to human development, and interested in projecting ideas, options, strategies and/or messages that can inspire positive actions. (UNV, 2017)

The month of December was passing by and my sadness had turned into depression. At that moment, I had lived outside of Venezuela for almost two years, since I, like many other young people from my country, felt the need to look for opportunities beyond our borders. However, in my case, my stay in Colombia had become more challenging than expected: I couldn’t find a job where I could utilize my skills and professional knowledge, and I was quite far from content.

Even though I am an Information Science Engineer, my passion and work have always been focused on communications through the Internet, development of contents for social networks and marketing. I wanted to return to these areas of work, and it occurred to me that maybe I could volunteer. Additionally, I was sure that a new project would give me new things to do and make me happy. 

I started to look for online volunteering opportunities through Google and I found that, in fact, there are various possibilities in this field. I loved how simple and practical the UNV’s Online Volunteering platform was, and consequently I stayed there for a while, reviewing vacancies to which I could apply. That is how I found a quite interesting and suitable project - to blog about the SDGs. It fitted me like a glove and I applied straight away.

Mid-January 2016 I received the news that I had been selected through UNV’s Online Volunteering service for the mission of developing an article every week about one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Filled with emotion I sent an e-mail to my contacts telling them the news, and many responded: “Hurray!”. The following weeks, as I had expected, being part of this project put me in a good mood and provided me with confidence and commitment. I feel very grateful for the valuable opportunity of sharing and presenting ideas in this area.

I think that it is not only about what one can give as a volunteer, but also about what one receives: new contacts, references, projects, the satisfaction of contributing and being part of something bigger, the learning coming out of a challenge of this kind. Moreover, online volunteering is possible anywhere in the world – you can organize your time with great flexibility, and share your progress with your contacts, which helps raise awareness of what you are currently doing.

I feel happy with the result of having researched and published articles that reflect the reality of my country of origin, that create knowledge about the current situation, and generate ideas that might lead to future development. Hopefully everyone will learn about the SDGs, and we will all contribute to their fulfillment.

I want to take this opportunity to invite you to keep spreading information about the importance of the SDGs and the different ways people can contribute to each one of them. In this way, the ideas can go offline, become concrete actions, and help communities evolve.

Sustainable Development Goal: