Produced by Zeynep
MA Political Psychology
My experience volunteering
Volunteering is something we usually associate with helping others. In fact, volunteering has many positive effects on the volunteer as well. The awareness of contributing to the society that you live in allows you to build emotional ties to your community. Especially when you are young, you do not have many chances to take responsibility and feel that you are important in some roles. So basically, volunteering contributes to your community and makes you feel happy! Moreover, it helps you grow your network by meeting some new friends!
In Our Kitchen
I participated in a project called “In Our Kitchen” after I saw an Instagram ad about it. Cooking with refugee women together with local volunteers, the aim of the project is to help women to integrate into society. We meet with different people during our cooking sessions and enjoy the cooking process while having friendly conversations. This is a chance for refuge women to practice English as well. We develop new cooking skills and learn amazing international recipes from each other! After cooking, we take the meals to the shelter for homeless people. We eat some of the meals at lunchtime too, of course!
By attending the project, I felt like I was part of a network of very nice women who care for others. Although I am a volunteer for the project, I am also an international student who moved to Dorset recently. That’s why this project contributed to me a lot to my integration into society.
During the project, I had a chance to meet with international women who have different backgrounds. I also observed how to run a project in the UK. I learned tips about local and practical aspects of a project running in the UK, like fundraising processes or legal requirements. Therefore, volunteering is not only about sacrifice but also something that contributes to us as well.
The Inara Project – ways to get involved
In Our Kitchen is only one of the sub-projects of the Inara Project. The project’s creators define themselves as “a group of girls based in Dorset who encourage other girls to get involved and make a difference to the lives of those in need”. Their previous project was called “Women’s Refuge Care Package” and delivered 100 care packages to refuge women. Furthermore, Inara is planning new projects now. If you want to be part of these projects, you can follow the social media accounts of Inara.