The world has always been inspired by young leaders and 19-year-old, Martin Dover is no exception. A second-year medical student, at the University of St. Andrews, Martin leads the efforts of Go Dharmic in Scotland providing food and other essentials to those in need.
Founded in 2011, and inspired by the concept of Dharma, Go Dharmic (GD) is an international humanitarian movement whose aim is to put compassion in action. The charity’s founding ethos is to “Love All. Feed All. Serve All.” The charity has grown and now has more than 10,000 volunteers in over 180 locations around the world. To put that compassion into action and address the many problems facing the world today, Go Dharmic has initiated campaigns for environmental action, poverty alleviation, education, and crisis response. Go Dharmic brings people together to work for local and global campaigns tailoring services to best meet individual and community needs.
Martin first got involved with Go Dharmic during the initial Covid lockdown in March 2020. He started a campaign to help NHS staff doing everything he could at the time to support their needs. With the network and skills he developed during this period, Martin then shifted his focus to supporting other groups who were struggling most after the first wave of the pandemic; the homeless and vulnerable. Since 2020, Martin has been involved in a range of services and Go Dharmic now provides soup kitchens and runs mobile food bank services to support families through the cost-of-living crisis.
Volunteering for the charity
Working a fully voluntary position, Martin serves as a trustee and manages everything Go Dharmic does in Scotland. He reports that while it’s a big responsibility, it would be impossible without the incredible volunteers who make everything possible. Go Dharmic has distributions in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, and many more are planned for 2023.
When asked about the charity itself, and his volunteer experiences, Martin tells us that although there are many poignant moments, from setting up food distributions in Glasgow, in the pouring rain or with snow up to his team’s ankles, to nervously wondering how many people would show up and whether supplies would be left unwanted in the van, every occasion has given him joy.
“While it is of course very sad that people need our help so desperately, it’s good to know that our services truly are a lifeline to so many across the country” he reports. Martin goes on to reflect that the best part of his job is knowing that what he is doing is strengthening communities, that, in his experience, the world is ‘one family’, and that we can all rely on each other because love cannot exist on its own, as it always requires another person to manifest, and at its best is reciprocated.
Martin’s work through Go Dharmic has not gone unnoticed. This year he was presented the Coronation Champion Award by the Royal Voluntary Services. “It was an incredible surprise, which I certainly wasn’t expecting! We all at Go Dharmic are hugely grateful to Their Majesties for this recognition”, says Martin.
Martin believes that every person, particularly young people, should consider a bit of volunteering. “Obviously, everyone’s situation is different, and some perform the right action by caring for their sick relatives or donating money. But most of us do have some spare time to offer, and ultimately, we are helping our neighbours, our society. By volunteering we can make a better world.”
To get involved with Martin and the Go Dharma team in Scotland, email [email protected]
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