Student Weaam With Her Covid-19 Volunteer Story

Weaam Bassiouni | University of Auckland Global Studies

Celebration of Student Volunteer Week 2021 is ongoing!

Student volunteer Weaam Bassiouni shared her volunteering experience with Auckland City Mission with us. During the Covid-19 situation last year, Weaam has joined the volunteering team to deliver food parcels to people in need.

“We acknowledge how crucial this is as many people rely on it,” said Weaam.

“After learning the situation, I decided to join the team as it was a great opportunity to give back to the community.”

Weaam said that even its just a few hours a year, volunteering can bring humility and rewarding down to your heart, so she encourages giving a try as possible.

“There is nothing like volunteering that makes you feel a certain way”, she said.

Student Volunteer Week 2021 #SVW2021 runs from March 15th to 21st.

Join us and share your stories!

Volunteering Makes Great Connection- Story of Grace

My name is Grace. I will turn 24 this July. I am a master student at Victoria University major in tourism management. I came from Indonesia and arrived in Wellington last March. I am busy working on my thesis but still enjoying my time volunteering. I saw the opportunity to volunteer at St Vincent de Paul op shop as a shop assistant on Seek Volunteer website. I thought this was a great opportunity to connect to people here in Wellington and do something great for society.

My initial motivation to volunteer was because of the lockdown during Covid-19.

After I arrived, there was no time for me to get to know the city; I directly start studying remotely during the lockdown. It was a challenging time that I felt not being connected. I used to laugh a lot and be much more productive back in the days. And I had joined lots of charity service when I was in my country. However, I wasn’t able to help because of the lockdown. The urge of helping, volunteering, and connecting with people has grown deeply in my heart. Finally, after the lockdown, I saw the volunteering opportunity.

I realized there are large amounts of people who need our help, and I thought I could help them by contributing time and effort with my service.

Thanks to this volunteer opportunity, I made friends with the customers. I was introduced to one of the Indonesian music community in Wellington. What’s more, I was further introduced to another local based Indonesian community. I ended up making lots of friends and feel closely connected with this foreign place. Gradually, started from knowing only my host family until now, I have made so many friends. I found the laugh I used to have, and it was all due to taking part in the society as a volunteer.

In my opinion, it is very important for us to be able to find a place that can help us to grow and become a better person. Thanks to the volunteering opportunity, I went through a hard time and found my happiness and belonging here.

“Being a volunteer brought me to a different world. I made friends, got involved in the local community, most importantly, I found a sense of belonging.”

Student volunteer Jasmine shares her volunteering story

Who am I?

My name is Jasmine. I am 18 years old and am originally from Hong Kong, where I finished middle school. I moved into New Zealand two years ago, and I am currently a Wellington Girls College student. I volunteered for Sport WellingtonMary Potter Hospice and Conservation Volunteers New Zealand for the past few months.

I found these volunteer opportunities on Seek Volunteer website. They display all types of positions and related information on their website. I contacted the manager to volunteer for these organisations. Originally it was for the CV and award for the Student Volunteer Army program, but gradually I enjoy doing volunteering jobs.

What did I do for volunteering?

The one I currently volunteer for is Mary Potter Hospice. I worked there for three hours a week on the weekends. I enjoy organising the merchandises and maintaining the store cleanliness. I sometimes in charge of checking out for customers.

I also volunteered for Sport Wellington by joining the Round The Bay 2021. My job was to give necessary help to runners who felt unwell when they passed the finish line. When someone fell down on the floor or looked unconformable, we approached to check if first aid is needed. I also in charge of maintaining the finish line order to ensure people follow the right way. And sometimes give the runners a hand if they need it! I feel like being able to help someone when they need it and also feel the inspiration for achieving something.

What did I gain from volunteering?

I think one of the best parts of volunteering is making new friends and building connections. I used to know friends only in school, but ever since I worked as a volunteer, I know people from different backgrounds. And I even make some wonderful friends of different ages and diverse perspectives. We are still connecting to each other after the volunteer experience. The way volunteering brought us together was just fantastic.

Another part of what I love about volunteering is skills learning. When I worked for Mary Potter Hospice in an op shop, I encounter all kinds of customers; I learned to face different customers in a retail setting. And I get to learn how to do the checkout. I think it would definitely be helpful for my life and my career in the future. It gives me a chance to challenge myself in social interaction.

Lastly, I think volunteering is a great way to contribute to society. As I worked for Conservation Volunteers New Zealand, it really makes me think about what I am doing. I sometimes worked in Mount Victoria and Island Bay. We are actually doing something to protect the environment; we did the weeding and removed the harmful plants for the trees. By doing that, I feel like actually helping this place.

I will definitely keep doing volunteer jobs in the near future. As well as  retail, customer service, environmental protection, I want to try new things in different fields. And keep learning from the experience, improving society and myself!

Celina Huang
Social Media Specialist
Volunteering New Zealand