Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown and English Language Partners Volunteer Coordinator Zlata Sosa presented Award certificates to participants yesterday, 7th November. Smiling faces show how much the programme means to both present participants and those who attended the ceremony to support their friends.
As a newcomer previously to Wellington herself, Celia told us how volunteering enriched her experience of Wellington city through the connections she made. Her own volunteering story started out with Greenpeace organising a beach clean up – giving her the opportunity to volunteer with people hailing from many diverse nations.
Although her own experience was volunteering with environmental organisations she feels social organisations do very necessary work – believing it is very important to volunteer from the heart and this is what makes your contribution so meaningful to the organisation and the people you work with.
The Award ceremony, organised by Wellington Settlement Support’s Laura Cendak – who comes from Argentina – included participants from many countries including Malaysia and India. The certificates were co-presented by volunteer coordinator Zlata Sosa who migrated 14 years ago from Bosnia.
Coming from India, when Award recipient Neha first arrived in New Zealand her husband suggested she contacted Volunteer Wellington to find voluntary work. Neha took up a variety of volunteer roles, but it was a media-related role with Volunteering New Zealand that secured the path to her current job in media.
“It’s great there is a platform to tell you as a newcomer about Kiwi Organisations and how things work in a new country.”
Although she misses friends at Volunteer Wellington, she talks about her new job with enthusiasm.
“My new work colleagues have welcomed me and really made me feel part of the team.”
The program is jointly organised by Settlement Support, Volunteer Wellington, Wellington Citizens Advice Bureau and Absolutely Positively Wellington.
by Jennifer from Volunteer Wellington