In 2019, the World Giving Index (WGI) measured three indicators of 138 countries, which are: volunteering time, donating money and helping strangers. Of 138 countries surveyed, Indonesia reached the 10th place. This means Indonesia is considered to be a generous country. Of course, as Indonesian, we are proud to have known this fact.
The three indicators of WGI’s measurement fulfil the elements of a “good” act (kindness): willing to sacrifice (altruism), understanding other people’s difficulties (compassion), and putting others first (prosocial behaviour). Taking good action is also said to have many positive effects; from increasing productivity, being mentally strong, to biological effects that make a person healthier and increases life expectancy (Rowland, 2018).
Okay, back to the survey.
Though the fact is seemingly good for Indonesia, further findings on the survey found that the “helping strangers” indicator of Indonesia is very low compared to other indicators. For this indicator, Indonesia is ranked 86. This finding shows that Indonesian tend to be generous to those they know (individually or groups).
This finding has raised a question: Ain’t generosity should not ideally be limited to the people we know or the groups we belong to?
Well, the answers can be varied. But we believe that being kind doesn’t have to be limited. At least that’s what we’re trying to accomplish through our online volunteering program, Experteering and Youth Volunteering.
The second batch of the program kicked off this week with 28 experts from Indonesia and Malaysia and around 86 youths under 30 years old. Experts and youth volunteers are going to work together virtually to produce educational clips as children’s learning materials at home due to the COVID-19 situation.
One thing that we know for sure is that some of the volunteers have never met each other face to face in real life. They might consider each other as “strangers.” What’s interesting is technically in this program, they are dedicating themselves to work together with “strangers” for three months.
Will it work then?
According to the survey, not 100%, perhaps. But let’s not dwell on the stated fact or finding.
What we learn from the first batch of this program is when these volunteers have to collaborate and work together for a cause that they care about, they tore off the wall, they put aside that “strangers” label and they learn from each other. This should prove that humans are prone to act of kindness by nature.
When given a goal to do something good together, we believe that people will come together. What we allow, will continue. When we allow ourselves to do the smallest act of kindness, the chain for the greater good will continue.
These volunteers came together because they believe they are capable to do something for others. They don’t need reasons to do good, they just do. They become the birds of a feather that flock together. Well then, they’re not strangers after all, right?
We made a page featuring the list of our expert volunteers here.
You can also check out this page to find out more about the second batch of the Youth Volunteering and Experteering program.