We take a time-out with 16 year old Harry von Bibra (Silver Participant from Geelong Grammar) who’s helping to brighten the future for children in East Timor. He shares his manifesto on volunteering with us.


There is a certain feeling that helping others out brings. When you assist others in a cause that may not benefit you in any way, yet you give it your all, it is an immensely satisfying experience. When you finally see the results of your toils, that is your reward.

I’ve just started working with the East Timor Activity Club. We’ve only just come together as a group, and we usually meet on a Friday afternoon, throw ideas around and work on ideas we think might work.

Obviously, living fulltime at boarding school makes it hard to go out and work in the field, but myself and a mate have just started working on an Alphabet Chart, which we hope to complete, copy, and send to lots of schools and communities in East Timor. We also hope to publish a picture book, also to be sent to schools and communities. We have made plans to hold a sausage sizzle at school to raise money for the book to be published and for charities supporting East Timor.

I also recently participated in an event in Geelong to celebrate the anniversary of East Timor’s Declaration of Independence. The event was hosted by the Geelong – Viqueque Friendship Committee, which is a Geelong based volunteer group which aims to support the Viqueque region of East Timor.

In a nutshell, volunteering is the giving of your time and energy to a cause, knowing and expecting that you will receive nothing in return but hoping that your efforts will make a change. It has a positive impact on everything it touches. The cause which people are volunteering for prospers with the influx of people ready to help out, so more can be achieved for the cause. It can unite whole communities,  strengthen them, inspire them, and makes people realise that many hands make light work. Best of all, people who volunteer can feel positive themselves about what they have achieved, and know that their efforts have made a difference to the world, be it great or small.

In the 21st century, volunteering is so important. We are all guilty of getting caught up with our own issues, and only thinking about ourselves. It is important for us to step back, away from our own desires, and realise that if we all help out, we can change the world we live in for the better.


Thanks a Million, Harry!

NVW Feature Volunteers: Harry von Bibra

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