The fourth session of our R.I.N.I. series was held online, this past Saturday. This time, our speaker was the former Royal Navy officer, CPO David Bonner, now a resident of Tirana. The audience, as usual, consisted of the members of our Volunteer Hub.

David talked about his experience in the Royal Navy, his time as a UN peacekeeper, his service in Ireland, Kosovo, Bosnia & Herzegovina, etc., his work in disaster relief missions and in the UK Border Force. Also, he mentioned obtaining 9 medals, presented to him by the Queen Mother and Prince Charles. “Hard work, discipline, and commitment will make you achieve your goals in life” – he said to the young people present.

His full-time job, often requiring working more than 1 shift per day, did not stop him being an active volunteer. David has been volunteering for 15 years now, mainly for the MVS (Maritime Volunteer Service). He explained that volunteering your time to support a cause you are passionate about, “enriches your life and opens new perspectives”.

Volunteering requires commitment and taking responsibility. David brought some real-life examples of activities organized only by volunteers. Fundraising events, fairs, exhibits and shows for children and adults were among the successful activities he has put his time and work in as a volunteer. The effort put into it and passion for the cause will make every endeavor successful. “As in everything you do” – he said – “volunteer work needs commitment, taking responsibility and stitcking around till the end”.

The young volunteers asked about the legal frame for volunteers in the UK and compared it to the Albanian one. “Volunteer work is and should not be compulsory” – explained David – “It should come natural to everyone that wants to contribute.” During this meeting, young people present had the possibility to share their personal volunteering stories and benefits. Everyone agreed that volunteering not only enriches your life and the lives of others around you, but it also provides with professional skills and gives more employment opportunities.

Helping your community is an opportunity for you to grow as a person and to better understand how you fit in the world around you. The Ivanaj Foundations offer a wide range of volunteering opportunities, so visit our Volunteer Hub and sign up.

[Below, a few screenshots of the presentation]