In 2019, some 150 members of the Volunteer Corps were seen supporting many activities across St. Kitts and Nevis.

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 13, 2020 (SKNIS): The value of volunteerism as a life-transforming experience was highlighted on Wednesday (February 12, 2020) by several persons, who have selflessly given back to their society.

Mindesha Challenger and Myrah Julius were among several speakers, who sought to inspire the newest members of the Volunteer Corps during a launching ceremony and orientation session held yesterday at the Old Boy’s School in Basseterre.

Ms. Challenger, a student of the C. F. Bryant College (CFBC), entered the Volunteer Corps in 2019 as a beneficiary of the Supporting Advancement of Further Education (SAFE) programme that provides a grant to qualifying students. As a recipient of the grant, the young student was required to do four hours of community service every month.

However, the teen went way above and beyond what was required by participating in many activities including beach cleanups, the Department of Youth Empowerment’s Summer Camp, and tree planting exercises, just to name a few. The department’s staff logged approximately 1000 hours of volunteer service for Ms. Challenger in 2019. This earned her the award for Most Outstanding Student Volunteer at the Youth Service Award held in December.

“This (the award) wasn’t something I expected but giving back has its rewards,” the young lady stated. “I urge you today to not look at the service hours as work but as an opportunity, no matter what you are doing and where you will be volunteering. Think of it as I am doing it for the betterment of my society.”

Myrah Julius shared similar sentiments. She indicated that she started volunteering at 8-years-old as a member of the Girls Brigade and various school activities. At age 20, she signed up to serve as a dorm leader at the Department of Youth Empowerment’s Summer Camp to collect a stipend but found the experience very rewarding. Some 15 years later, Ms. Julius is very supportive of the department’s projects and programmes. She even developed entrepreneurial skills by participating in the youth empowerment business programme.

“I have grown so much,” she said. “Volunteering helps others, but it also helps you as an individual. You gain experience, skills, friendships, opportunities, leadership, and discipline.”

Ms. Julius advised the new members of the Volunteer Corps saying, “As long as something is going to bring positivity and growth to your life try it at least once. Never fail to try and never be afraid to step outside of your box and explore life’s possibilities.”