Volunteer Spirit in Motion

This series of articles highlights volunteers in the Cook Islands, Niue, Samoa and Tokelau. In many of these cases the people involved would not describe themselves as 'volunteers'.  They would see themselves as people who have taken action because they believe in the worth of what they are setting out to do. They do this work of their own free will, without coercion and without the expectation of payment - because they believe that it needs to be done.

This perhaps illustrates that the term 'volunteerism' is misunderstood. Volunteering should not be confused with obligation, as something that is expected by society and enforced by social norms. True volunteerism is an individual action that comes from the will of the person involved, without pressure from outside influences. Truly voluntary actions cannot be forced. They are a result of individual belief and personal commitment.

This series, therefore, highlights people who took action on something that they truly believed in and that came from their own passion and heart, wanting to bring about positive changes to society without expecting any remuneration. There are many such cases in South Pacific Islands countries.

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Art therapy for abused young women: Wendy Percival’s volunteer story

25 Jun 2014

Wendy Percival, an artist and educator, has taken initiative to help her community by volunteering her time to teach fine arts to young women from the House of Hope, a well-known shelter for victims of abuse in Samoa. On Monday afternoons, these young women travel by van to the Tiapapata Art Centre,more

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