by Claire Morgan-Busher, Trinity College Dublin
Localise is delighted to be the subject of a report conducted by Laidlaw Scholarship student from Trinity College, Dublin, Claire Morgan-Busher. Her report Perspectives on Localise – How youth volunteerism benefits the community is an insightful piece of research that explores how volunteerism stimulates social awareness amongst young people leading to prosocial behaviours amongst young -people across the socio-economic and multicultural divide.
The report also explores the benefits of youth volunteerism as a means of youth empowerment. When a young person feels like they are making a difference in the lives of others, and given the responsibility to do so, they are more likely to have a positive self-image. Instilling this sort of self-belief through volunteering is a positive indicator for mental wellbeing, volunteering in the local area crystalises the notion of belonging in a community where they are connected and respected.
“…the Localise programmes stand out as one of the best ways to help young people develop their sense of self and become community leaders.”
The final part of the report looks to leadership emergence, and places youth volunteerism in the ‘servant leadership’ space. Servant leadership requires young people to set aside their ego – they do not see themselves as the centre of attention, but instead view the project as something greater than themselves and something they are proud to invest in.
At a moment in our nation’s history where education, particularly at senior cycle, is being scrutinised in great detail, it is easy to see how the purposes of formal education are aligned with those in the informal sector. If our collective aim is to bring about flourishing in young people, then inculcating a planned programme of volunteerism can only be a good thing, particularly if the results yield servant leaders, with a pro-social outlook that are empowered to be the change in their communities.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Claire and the Laidlaw Scholarship at Trinity College for working with Localise to produce such a valuable and insightful report on the work that we do.