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13th IAVE Asia Pacific Regional Volunteer Conference: Tse Wan Kin Speech Part 1 - 20111031

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Uploaded on Oct 31, 2011

Dear Honoured Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Being a speaker in the workshop of the specific topic in the definition of volunteersim, I (Mr. Tse Wan Kin from Hong Kong) am glad to be the one who submits an abstract and is accepted by the conference. However, due to my tight time being, I regret to say that I am not able to make a speech in Korea concerned at this moment. However, my speech must go on and I would like to take the unique opportunity to share my opinions about the meaning of volunteerism. The topic in this workshop today is 'Meaning of Volunteerism: How can we do better when major events are taking place in the world?' Indeed, this can be a complicated issue but at least we should have an understanding on this.
In my presentation, we will first discuss the definition of volunteerism. In particular, we will also take the definition of major events into account since major events can be either catastrophic or festive. Besides, we will also talk about some classifications adopted in terms of volunteering. The benefits and potential negative impacts of volunteerism to volunteers and to the people in need will also be discussed, especially when major events are taking place in the world. Moreover, we will discuss how the voluntary services can be executed better for the major events in the world.
In making the definition of volunteerism, I personally think that we should first define what do the terms 'volunteer', 'volunteering' and 'voluntary service' mean since these terms can be applied to major events as well as minor events. How do we define the term 'volunteer'? As a noun, the term 'volunteer' can be described as a person who provides a service to the people in need on his or her own will without monetary reward in general. As a verb, the term 'volunteer' can also be defined as an action to provide services to the people in need on his or her own will, apart from entering a voluntary service or enlisting as a volunteer in a voluntary agency. Besides, if the term 'volunteer' is made understood, then how about the definition of the term 'volunteering'? Volunteering is the practice in which people take part in a particular service on behalf of others without expecting any materialistic return. It is a process in which people engage in to serve others or the society. Besides, it is generally considered as a universal and altruistic activity: It can be taken in many forms and is performed by a wide range of people such that major crisis can be resolved early, expectations can be achieved on time, festive events can be held in order while making the people in need happy. Moreover, if we do know the meaning of 'volunteer' and 'volunteering', what does a voluntary service really mean? A voluntary service is a kind of social service which is contributed by volunteers who devotes time and energy to improve and promote better living and society without expecting material rewards in return. It is a prerequisite to volunteerism because voluntary service is generally provided by the service units and executed by volunteers, even when the major events are taking place.
Based on the definitions of the terms above, we can say that 'volunteerism' is the term which can be used to describe a practice adopted by volunteers to take part in voluntary services arranged by the voluntary agencies, thereby making a linkage between the users, the service units, volunteers and the whole community. But how can we define the meaning of major events? It can be either catastrophic events or festive moments. In terms of the society, catastrophic events can be of natural hazards such as the great earthquake and tsunami hit in Japan this year. It can also be the ones that are man-made such as the hostage incident in Manila last summer. In these cases, volunteering is much needed to help the victims face the difficulties and rebuild confidence in their life. However, as I have mentioned before, major events can be of festive ones such as the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai World Expo in China: The festive events attract thousands and even millions of tourists and it requires co-ordination in various aspects. A large number of volunteers are also needed to serve the tourists apart from keeping the venues in order.

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