15 Mar President Jon Cartu Writes – Luxembourg Times – Money-and-work – Want to volunteer your…
Working but want to give back? Newly arrived and want to get more involved in your community? Searching for something meaningful to do in your free time?
There are many reasons for volunteering (from personal satisfaction to acquiring new skills) and many charities and organisations that rely on it. Here are a few places you can volunteer – from helping the homeless, mentoring refugees, and visiting the elderly, to dog walking, scout camps and agroecology.
If you volunteer at an organisation that is not mentioned in this article, let us know.
Before you volunteer
Think first how much time you can give and the level of commitment you are willing to make. There are some volunteering opportunities where you can just turn up on the day or take part occasionally, and others where the organisation will expect a longer-term or regular commitment and will provide training.
If you’re looking for something more permanent or specific, Bénévolat Luxembourg has a volunteer area that lists current volunteering opportunities in a number of charity organisations. Jobs listed at the moment, include someone to work two afternoons a week with a mobile library visiting asylum seeker centres, a person to work at weekends in a nursing centre for Alzheimer Asbl, and someone who can offer piano lessons to support artists with learning disabilities for Ligue HMC.
There are numerous opportunities, some requiring an extra pair of hands, others needing a level of skill or experience.
Croix Rouge (Red Cross)
The Red Cross are always looking for help with their projects including providing support to there winter programme for the homeless, but for numerous other projects. If you speak French, Luxembourgish or German, they also run a programme to prevent isolation of seniors, which involves visiting people regularly and talking. You can find out how to volunteer here.
Like the Red Cross, Caritas are also involved in health, social, youth and humanitarian support, working with children and families, refugees and migrants. You can find out how to volunteer and more about the opportunities currently available here.
Stëmm vun der Strooss
This association mainly supports people who are homeless, unemployed, living on a minimum wage, ex-criminals, asylum seekers and immigrants, and people who suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol. It depends on the support of volunteers, particularly to visit people in hospitals and prisons.
Volunteers must respect the ethics and sensibilities required to work with vulnerable people. They are looking for people with an empathetic attitude, who can be discreet and tolerant, and are able to support those in times of despair or anxiety. In return, Stëmm can be flexible about hours, and can provide specific training and education. There are also opportunities to take an apprenticeship with the organisation, where you will work in one of their centres.
Serve the City
A movement of volunteers that believe that many people doing small things together makes a big difference. Serve the City mobilises volunteers through sports, music, arts and crafts, meals, friendship and more. You can volunteer once a year or on a regular basis, and those under 18 years must fill out a parental consent form (those under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult).
You can volunteer for the street team, who hand out food and drink to people living on the streets, or for other activities such as football matches at the Retention Centre (for immigrants).
RYSE (Refugee youth support & empowerment)
RYSE is looking for mentors to play an important part in the lives of youth refugees. Mentors are paired with mentees based on interests and background, and work with them on a one-to-one basis. Volunteers with be given practical assistance and help with any requirements to liaise with government bodies.
Fondation Autisme Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s Autism Foundation say that volunteers make a vital contribution to their work. They will provide training and reimburse travel costs too. You can register as someone who will accompany children, teens or adults with autism on holidays, and you will get free training, plus an allowance per day. They also look for support at events from manning craft stands to open or awareness days. They are also looking for skills in graphic design, translators, and cooks, gardeners and drivers for their day-care centre in Munshausen.
Make a wish (Kanner Wonsch)
A charity that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, Kanner Wonsch operates with the support of 60 or so volunteers and welcomes new ones from all backgrounds. They ask you to think about your time and talents before volunteering then apply using this form. They will invite you to a volunteer orientation meeting and depending where your interests lie, they may provide more training.
Scouts and guides
If your talents lie in building campfires and working with children then the Telstar Scouts of Luxembourg are always looking for volunteer helpers for weekly meet-ups and seasonal camps. FNEL are also on the lookout for volunteers for scout activities, as are Girl Guiding Luxembourg.
Natur & ëmwelt
If you love animals then Natur & ëmwelt need people to help with their animals as carers, transporters and plenty more. They’re also on the lookout for volunteers interested in getting involved in children’s educational activities or to work at information stands.
Asile (Dudelange) and Deierenasyl (Gasperich) rely on volunteers to help at animal shelters and people to walk shelter dogs. In fact most animal shelters would welcome pet-loving volunteers (ideal if you love animals but cannot accommodate one in your home). You’ll find a list of animal shelters in this article.
Way of life
This agroecological centre offers volunteers the chance to get hands-on practical and physical experience, spend time in the orchards and forest and learn about growing food, including the principles of permaculture. You can volunteer any day of the week as long as you contact them at least a day in advance, or join a blitz action Sunday.
Become a local sport buddy to a refugee, or mentor an…