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.”