Children are as much a part of this world as adults are. Volunteering can give them the opportunity to learn about important issues and give them a chance to do something to help solve problems in the world. This can really be seen in this video, by Youth Service America, where third graders had learned about childhood hunger:
As well as this, volunteering means children can meet new people across the generations and can learn new skills.
Children and teenagers have volunteered for my own charity, CHW, and seem to really enjoy being part of this. High School can be a difficult time, and one teenager remarked to me after a fundraising event, "It was really nice to feel wanted, for once." Volunteering offers an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere.
Younger children have also helped with CHW, usually coming to volunteer at an event, along with their Mum or Dad. They have been happy to be involved, and like it even more once they know a bit about the cause. Volunteering can be a way for children to participate in community life. It also helps them to become more responsible citizens.
Some very young volunteers (whom I haven't actually met!) recorded a song for CHW. They were supervised by one of our volunteers in Wales, who wrote the song. He put an article in a local paper about this, which you can see here. It ends with a nice quote from one of the children about how they felt, helping other children who were less fortunate.
Here is the video, with the song recorded by the children:
I have personally seen some of the benefits of involving children and young people in volunteering. My own little cousin was not quite a teenager when I started CHW and she always wanted to help at the fundraising events. She seemed to really enjoy working with volunteers of all ages, to make the day a success. She also learned about the issues facing children around the world at a young age. She still helps out now, and I am very grateful for this!
There are some ideas for how children can volunteer, according to their age group, on this site.
If you have any good ideas for more ways children and teenagers can volunteer, please let me know in the comment section below!
What do you think about children volunteering? It would be great to hear your thoughts on this.