Volunteer stories

Riya and Kamini

Riya is a high school student who has been volunteering with Kamini since earlier this year. Although there is a bit of an age difference between the two women, they have bonded over their common interest in Bollywood movies.

Aspire – Community Support volunteer coordinator Taya Cross says that Riya was recruited through Volunteering Waikato. “We were looking for someone who could visit with Kamini, and help her keep her connections to her Hindi culture alive. Kamini says “we watch Bollywood movies and talk Hindi together”.

Riya feels that communication is a really important skill to bring to this kind of volunteering. “When you are volunteering in another language, you have to be able to communicate really well.”

There is an old saying, “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your own path”. This has been Riya’s experience. “Volunteering gives me a sense of fulfilment, and I love spending time with Kamini. After I leave I’m always really happy and in a good mood, and I feel I’ve left Kamini in a good mood as well.”

Considering a future career in medicine, Riya is aware that volunteering looks good on her CV, saying “A lot of people like that fact that you volunteer, it’s really good to show that you care and have empathy for others”.

If you would like to join the Aspire team of volunteer friends, contact Taya on 07 839 0183.