Breaking Through the Comfort Zone: The Adventures of a Volunteer at the Dream Village Library Festival

Every step we take to get out of our comfort zone will open the door to new experiences and provide space to grow and develop our potential. The same thing happened to me, as a person who is rarely involved in social activities, when I decided to become a volunteer at the “6th Dream Village Library Festival” organized by “Peace Volunteer House” or Rumah Relawan Remaja

In this article, I will share my journey as a volunteer who was initially awkward and shy, to becoming part of an extraordinary celebration. I will outline how this experience changed my outlook on life and taught me valuable lessons about the importance of social engagement and the positive impact we can spread in the communities we join.

As someone who is just trying to get into the world of volunteering, I found myself involved in an extraordinary journey. This experience is not unusual for me, who is rarely involved in social activities and the like. My presence among them was an extraordinary step in an effort to get out of my comfort zone which had been strictly guarded.

Awkwardly and timidly I entered this new world, groping in an environment that was still very foreign to me. However, every second that passed during the preparations for this festival event gave me the opportunity to overcome that feeling of discomfort. Without realizing it, I began to feel comfort and happiness growing, along with the presence of other extraordinary volunteer friends.

The Dream Village Library Festival is a celebration of literacy, arts and culture that not only highlights the potential of children from several Pustaka Kampung  Impian (Dream Village Library) locations in Aceh, such as Lapeng (Pulo Aceh), Baling Karang (Aceh Tamiang), and Sarah Baru (South Aceh), but also presented valuable lessons for everyone involved. These children brought magic from remote places, showcasing their talents in traditional dances, pantuns and other works of art at the exhibition center. Through their creativity, they not only delighted visitors, but also conveyed a strong message: that with effort and opportunity anything could be achieved. They are living proof that every child has extraordinary potential, only if given the same opportunities.

As a volunteer at the event, I was a direct witness to the happiness and pride that radiated from each child’s face when they were recognized and appreciated. They have inspired all of us to dare to dream and make these dreams come true.

In addition, the works exhibited at this festival were not just stunning visual objects. They carried a deep message about respecting nature and using it wisely. One example of the amazing work of Pustaka Kampung Impian children is “Likok Lapeng”. Likok Lapeng is a traditional toy made from materials found in nature and recycled with extraordinary creativity by children from Lapeng Village, Pulo Aceh. The painting art of the children of Pustaka Kampung Impian also invited admiration, they could express their imagination so freely and beautifully which again could inspire us. Looking at their work, I can’t help but wonder, “where have I been all this time?” “Why am I only realizing this miracle now?”

In the midst of these questions, I also feel grateful for being able to be part of this great and meaningful community. I may not have extraordinary talents, but this opportunity has taught me that by contributing just a little, I can have a big impact on society. I started to believe that life is not only about personal achievements, but also about providing benefits to many people.

Joining the Dream Village Festival committee has opened the door for me to discover interests and talents that I may have never realized before. I learned to organize events, collaborate with fellow volunteers, and learn from the experiences of more experienced people around me. During festival activities, I also learned to communicate effectively, work in a team, and overcome fear and uncertainty. Through this process, I also began to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion in building strong and harmonious communities.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

Written by Annisa Nabilah

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