5 December 2013

28 Too Many Celebrate International Volunteer Day 2013

Guest blog by volunteer Alison Glennie.

International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December (created by the United Nations in 1985) is as an international observance day to celebrate the power and potential of volunteering. 28 Too Many is a UK based anti-female genital mutilation (FGM) charity working to end FGM across Africa and the diaspora communities through: research, building community networks and international advocacy. Our charity relies heavily on the work of passionate volunteers who share our vision and desire for ending FGM and to improve the lives of women and girls all over the world.

International Volunteers Day acts as an opportunity for volunteers, and volunteer organisations, to raise awareness of, and gain understanding for, the contribution they make to their communities and across the world.  So, 28 Too Many wants to take this opportunity to celebrate our volunteers, saying thank you for the hard work each individual puts in to supporting our campaign. We would also like to show how rewarding volunteering can be, its benefits and how to get involved.

Why people volunteer for 28 Too Many

There are many reasons why people choose to get involved. Here are just a few:

  • to make a difference to vulnerable women and girls both in the UK and in Africa
  • to do something inspiring
  • to learn new skills and develop 
  • to meet new people.

Who can volunteer for 28 Too Many?

If you share our values, are an enthusiastic advocate of women’s rights and want to see FGM eradicated, then 28 Too Many Needs You! We are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for everyone who volunteers with us and aim to find a volunteering role to suit every individual and want to ensure everyone gets the most they can through their volunteer experience.  Perhaps you want to develop your writing skills, why not write a guest blog? If you have great organisational skills, why not volunteer as an administrator? From tweeting about current news and events to volunteering as a Trustee or Director, 28 Too Many supports volunteers at all levels. For more information about how to get involved with 28 Too Many and to view our latest volunteer vacancies, please visit: http://www.28toomany.org/about-us/volunteer.

Executive Director Ann- Marie Wilson on why volunteering is so important to 28 Too Many

“I have volunteered since I was at school, working in many different charities but it was always fulfilling and helped me develop new skills, knowledge and lots of great friends. It was through my volunteering that I gained experience working with vulnerable women and girls and it was during my time spent volunteering in Sudan in 2005 that I first came across FGM. I met a young girl whose life had been torn apart by war, sexual violence and had undergone FGM herself.  Meeting that little girl and becoming aware of FGM inspired me to take further action to eradicate the practice and, after studying and researching FGM, in 2010 I set up 28 Too Many. In the last year we have published four detailed research reports on FGM, visited and raised awareness on FGM in more than 10 countries and run training for professionals from health, education and child protection. This shows the incredible, life-saving impact that volunteers can have and what we can achieve by working together for a common aim”.

What do our volunteers say?

Katherine Allen (Research Intern and Supervisor)

“I'm proud to have worked collaboratively on the Country Profiles for Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia. My work with 28 Too Many has helped me grow as a person and has positively influenced my career as an academic”.

Julie Zinzan (Health Educator)

“I had heard of FGM through Childline and my work in a North London Children Centre, but had no idea of such details about why it is done, or the trauma it causes, the dangers and how much of it actually goes on in this country… (through my work with 28 Too Many), I have been to the Houses of Parliament, Oxford House Somali Centre and The Home Office…these events drive me to help end FGM for good. I may be one person but together 28 Too Many are a team which makes a difference and I am proud to be part of this team”.

Kelly Denise (Researcher)

I had the privilege of working full time with 28 Too Many for about a year and it has been amazing. The people, the vision and the work have been inspiring. Being a part of a young organisation from the beginning has been an incredible experience as we navigate through the vision in real life and learn from our mistakes as well as seek advice from those who have been working in this field before us. 

I served as a researcher for Uganda and Kenya and found it challenging, intense, wonderful and beautiful every day. I had opportunities to meet with nationals, large corporate organisations and small women’s groups all working to end the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). The work I have done this past year has changed my life.

Just to say thanks…

28 Too Many would like to thank all the volunteers that help make progress preventing and eliminating FGM. We would like to express our gratitude to the research volunteers/ interns who have contributed to the creating of our Country Profiles which have provided information for more effective campaigns to globally eradicate FGM.

Furthermore, we would like to express our appreciation to all our volunteers involved in the day to day running of the charity- management, administrators and those who campaign or attend events on our behalf. 

Finally, we give a great big thank you to all of our volunteer bloggers, tweeters, facebookers and general supporters of the charity whose collaborative efforts have helped to raise awareness surrounding FGM, its dangers and prevention. Every small action makes a difference and together we are part of a powerful global movement to end FGM. 

Please check our current vacanacies if you would like to volunteer with us. You can also help in the fight to end FGM by please supporting 28 Too Many. You can donate to support our research and campaign to protect girls and end this practice. Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the global movement to end FGM.