FIFO life can disconnect you from your community. It’s hard to help out at your local school or sports club when you have to uproot yourself every other week. Most volunteer organisations value commitment, so you might feel that you are letting the team down if you have to constantly apologise for not being there. When you are home, your friends and family are at work, so you might feel at loose ends, trapped in the house.
Research shows that volunteering keeps you mentally healthy. It gives a sense of belonging, achievement and purpose. It helps to improve self-esteem and confidence. So how can FIFO workers be part of this?
The answer may be volunteering online. There are many organisations that need tasks done over the internet but that alone may be a bit isolating because you wouldn’t have the camaraderie that comes with being part of a group. Something that combines group interaction and doing good is being part of the Rotary E-Club of Western Australia. In the past, Rotary clubs had a strong focus on turning up, but modern lifestyles and the realisation that impact is more important than attendance means that many Rotary clubs are adopting more flexible policies.
The Rotary E-Club of Western Australia is specially designed for people who might experience barriers to volunteering: people who travel a lot, parents of young children, people with mobility challenges, people in isolated regions. Planning and interaction happens three ways: via a Facebook group, regular videoconferences and occasional face-to-face gatherings. Any scheduled activities are optional- the club simply asks that you engage as often as you can and contribute the talents you have to club projects, fundraising and advocacy. Some recent activities include raising funds and building partnerships for a literacy program in the Wheatbelt, selling stress balls to raise funds for mental health research via Australian Rotary Health, collecting food donations for charities with distribution networks and organising a reunion of past Rotary Youth Exchange students. If your site has a decent internet connection, you can be part of something positive.
Although Rotary has many projects and causes, as a Rotarian, you are free to volunteer with or donate to any organisation, so you can direct your efforts to the things that matter most to you – it all counts to your Rotary service. You can partner with other Rotary clubs including clubs that benefit your home community and the area where you work. Best of all, as you are part of a team, you can do your part when you are available and someone else can help out when you are not. Using modern technology to communicate is key to success.
If you’d like to learn more, contact us below!