Help is easier than we think
When we think about helping, we tend to link it with a big amount of effort and time. The reason why we normally think this way is due to the common-accepted idea that helping others includes a big part of us, a big part of our time.
People believe that in order to help someone you need to donate money to a charity, expend one year abroad helping to build a school or give your food to someone.
That’s the reason why a big number of citizens might not seem to like the world help: it takes so long…
However, although all the ways of helping listed before are
clearly great and more than recommendable to do, the word
help is much wider than that.
Help can be smiling at your mum.
Help can be being polite to the bus driver.
Help can be spending the afternoon with your grandparents.
Help is easier.
And that what I learnt after interviewing ‘Krugovi, Centar za edukaciju, savjetovanje i humanitarno djelovanje.’
Krugovi, Centar za edukaciju, savjetovanje i humanitarno djelovanje
-What are the main purposes and values of your organisation?
-Krugovi, was founded in 2011, with the idea that satisfaction of individuals can improve community. We are mostly focused on fields of education as well as psychotherapy and charity work, and we work with children, elder people and other vulnerable people in a local level, but also around all Croatia.
Therefore, one part of the work is focused on the children and youth, to help them develop their social skills and their potential; also, elder and disabled people as well as individuals who suffer from mental health issues. We offer an individual psychotherapy session to people who are in need of consultation, for example children going through the divorce of their parents.
On the other hand, we provide with a variety of educational workshops, led by volunteers from the ESC programme, where people interact with each other, also under our supervision.
Future projects and impact of the pandemic
-Regarding the future, are you working on other projects?
-Right now, we are working on a big project where we will be measuring blood pressure and sugar in blood in order to prevent some cardio-vascular issues.
But also, we are really focused on mental health among the youth, we have a program now, which has been happening for three years, whereby we visit and spend time with elder citizens who live most of their time alone and likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, since they are totally socially deprived and isolated.
We are also working on a project to help youth, who are now also likely to get reached by some mental issues, due to lockdown and self-isolation. During the Pandemic, mental health difficulties have dramatically increased, including anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.
For now, we are thinking of activities via online, so we can meet, but we would love to go further and create a youth centre in New Zagreb (Novi-Zagreb), since there isn’t one here.
The pandemic has clearly shaped our plans. For an organisation that aims to tackle depression and loneliness issues, we haven’t been exempt of inconveniences, when it comes to organise activities. We have been through difficult times as everyone has, and ironically, feeling lonely and sad.
Voice from young volunteers
Kornelia, a polish volunteer at Krugovi stated:
-It’s really positive the fact that we are allowed to physically meet with the people that we help, since I realised that the most important part of our work is to make them feel accompanied. We are obviously reducing the live interaction with them, trying also to engage them in Zoom calls and other online activities. But, undoubtedly, what they really need is just company and warmth from people like us.
But also, in terms of my personal experience, volunteering has incredibly helped me to flee from this pandemic pressure and negative environment, since, first, restrictions in Zagreb are not so strict and most importantly, because if the fact that I am genuinely helping someone; that I have a purpose in my life. Since, I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep, I fulfil my day with activities and situations that have a positive impact on me and on society.
I believe, that is the problem among the youth, they don’t have a life purpose, they just don’t see the value in their lives, especially now during these uncertain times.
But it turns out that we don’t really have to organise big activities, people who feel isolated, or suffering from depression or anxiety do not demand huge projects, just the fact of visiting them, bringing them groceries or wheelchairs, or even just speaking to them, make them feel like someone is caring.
That is why we request volunteers to have either experience in psychology and psychotherapy or the strong will to help the community.
One drop can fall into the water and the waves spread. It doesn’t matter how much water is moving, but at least, your help is making an impact.