Like pieces of a puzzle, connection leads to a feeling of togetherness because we become part of larger community outside ourselves. Relationships are formed with likeminded individuals who share mutual interests, passions, and beliefs. These are some of many factors of connection that lead to engagement. Here is further explanation of these factors, with others that are most applicable to The Traveling Volunteer community.
- Relationships – Noted above, relationships are formed because we connect with people who have similar interests and passions. At a deeper level, friendships are fostered. Personality types have a hand in the creation of relationships and friendships, and are one of the reasons people communicate and connect with others on a more frequent basis.
- Group cohesion – Talents, skills, and mutual interests. Relationships are formed because likeminded individuals tend to connect. These may eventually lead to identifying with a group, leading to deeper group engagement due to a phenomenon called group cohesion. Group cohesion is the tendency for a group to stay together. Members are united with the desire to meet group goals and objectives. For example, do you participate in card-making groups or events? How about play an instrument with a band? If so, you mostly are cohesively bonded to group members. You no longer are just an individual with an interest or skill, you identify as being part of a larger whole.
- Program or project – Have ever you felt connected to people during or after you have been working on a school or community project together? You might not have known the people to begin with, but you eventually felt a connection to the people because you went through the experience together. It was the program’s topic of interest or subject matter that drew you to the opportunity, and as a result, a connection was formed with the participants.
The Traveling Volunteer was created to encourage connection with other traveling to volunteer community members. These members may be friends you know, and other friends you have yet to meet. Through events, groups, volunteer travel opportunities, and one-on-one mentoring, we aim to make The Traveling Volunteer a community where people can feel connected and transformed. We encourage you to contact us, to discuss other ways we can encourage relationship building and group cohesion.