Conceptual Clarification and Why We Volunteer

As with any concept, there are scholarly arguments, misperception and debates over Volunteerism as a concept and its definition, sometimes making it difficult to arrive at one generally and acceptable meaning, or even assess the volume, and intent of voluntary work. However, both in theoretical meaning and practical application, volunteerism is a universal idea except that different terminologies are used to describe it. In Norway for example Dugnad is used to describe collective voluntary work and in the Arab World, volunteerism is considered as a religious duty and charitable work in good and bad times. Also in Kenya, the term harambee is used to demonstrate voluntary pulling of resources together in order to help individual or communities develop. In the Liberian traditional society people voluntarily come together and form what is referred to as a Susu to collect money to help members of a given sector or individual development. This kind of voluntary coming together is not strange to the Gbannah community. In the early 70’s, for instance, a group of Gbannah youth, including the late James Legay, the late Alfred Kiepea, Nya Yelegon, Joseph Kiepeeh, Jeff Yeanay and Lawrence Yeakula formed a voluntary group, “the Gbannah Youth Organization (GYO)” that fostered youth and community development. The present Gbannah community Clinic in Flumpa is testimonial of the undertaking of the GYO.

Whatever different terms or words used to describe Volunteerism, we at COGVOL have decided to come together and encourage others from Gbannah who live in the diaspora to voluntarily join us so that together we can do what we do best, that is help with the ongoing development effort of our Clan. We believe that willingly coming together would pull the enormous reservoir of talents, skills, energy and knowledge the Clan possess for its overall development and sustainability. We see volunteerism as one without financial gains, we come together at our own free will without an obligation enforce by law, we see this free coming together as a way to give to Gbannah and also learn from Gbannah, the Clan we love and cherish. This is our history and this is how we conceptualize Volunteerism. Volunteerism is our modus operandi - We see volunteerism as the way forward!  

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