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Understanding the Volunteer Experience: A Case Study of AIDS Community Care Montreal


Understanding the Volunteer Experience: A Case Study of AIDS Community Care Montreal

Theoret, Victoria C. (2013) Understanding the Volunteer Experience: A Case Study of AIDS Community Care Montreal. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Theoret__MA_S2013_(1).pdf - Accepted Version
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This qualitative case study examined the potential of transformational learning
through Volunteering at a Montreal based HIV/AIDS organization, Aids Community
Care Montreal (ACCM). Five volunteers agreed to participate in the project and they
were interviewed about their experiences at ACCM, HIV/AIDS education as well as their
judgement about the impact of volunteering in their lives. The author also underwent
training as a volunteer in the same organization and this experience provided another lens
in analyzing the interview results.
Through open ended interviews, five participants narrated the transformative
impact of learning about HIV/AIDS and working in the community centre. The
interviews were taped and transcribed and the analysis followed the ten steps of
transformative learning outlined by Mezirow. The participants acknowledged that their
experience has led them to be more proactive with safe sexual practices, as well as
encouraging others to learn about safe sex practices and the realization that HIV is no
longer a death sentence necessarily. The volunteer participants have also begun trying to
reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS beginning with their immediate social
circles and beyond.
The participants also expressed the importance of emotional connections and the
need for feeling useful in order to continue with their volunteer time investment. Without
feeling needed and useful, there is a certain level of dissatisfaction and while ideas and
perceptions on HIV/AIDS remain transformed, the motivation to continue working with
the organizations wanes.
This project is a first building block towards further study of the impact of
volunteering on transformational learning and whether or not the effects of similar
experiences can be long-lasting.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Theoret, Victoria C.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Educational Studies
Date:21 March 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hamalian, Arpi
ID Code:977172
Deposited On:11 Jun 2013 13:39
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:44
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