I wanted to do something enriching: Harrison’s story
What do you do in your volunteer role with us?
I’m researching the legislation and protections that deaf and other disabled children have, specifically in India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Uganda. Using my university’s library resources and searching the web, I find statistics and examples of mistreatment of children which I then share with Deaf Child Worldwide staff members.
How often do you volunteer?
I volunteer from home for around 2 to 4 hours weekly, alongside my studies and part-time job.
Why did you become a volunteer with us?
I wanted to do something enriching. I’m studying for a Human Rights degree, so the thought of offering my help to an organisation that’s determined to help those in need was appealing.
What is your favourite thing about volunteering?
Hearing feedback that the information I pass on to staff members has been helpful. Knowing that I’m helping others makes me feel good.
What inspires you to stay involved as a volunteer?
Because I can’t offer more time due to my strict schedule, I’m keen to stay involved until I have done enough to help each of the countries I’m researching. I wouldn’t want to miss a country out and know that I could have helped more.
In what ways do you think your volunteering impacts or benefits deaf children, young people and their families?
I hope that the National Deaf Children’s Society can use my research to promote the importance of keeping deaf children safe and ensuring they receive a good education.
What have you gained personally from volunteering with us?
I’ve gained a lot of insight into the poor treatment of deaf people despite laws in place to protect them. Unfortunately, many people do not follow guidelines to help those in need and I hope that through my research I can help change this.
What do you think has been the greatest thing you have achieved through your volunteering?
The greatest thing I’ve achieved is gaining an understanding of the needs of deaf children in Asia and Africa. Because I’m now more aware, I can share my learnings with others who might empathise and potentially give their time to research and help stop injustices.
What support have you received from the National Deaf Children’s Society to help you in your role?
National Deaf Children’s Society staff members have pointed me in the right direction of what kind of information I should look for. I’ve also had meetings with staff to ensure I’m up to date and satisfied in my role. Without this support, I would have been lost when I started volunteering.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about applying to volunteer?
I would tell them to stop thinking and act. If you can commit some of your time to helping others who are less fortunate than yourself, then that’s time well spent.