Young man volunteering in plant nurseryAlfred picked Friends’ of Maara Roa, a spontaneous decision he says was based on intuition, and dived straight in. On his first day his manager Juliet gave him a warm welcome and introduced him to the team of around 10 volunteers.

‘My first impression was of a very friendly and welcoming team. There was no ‘new guy’ element, instead I was warmly welcomed and felt I could fit right in’.

Starting his working life with his family on their land in Samoa, he sees his life as an adventure, embracing opportunities as they present themselves. He sees his adventure taking him around the world by the different people he meets. Mixing up with people from different backgrounds sparks new connections.

Relatively easy to make friends of a similar age group, Alfred values his opportunity through Friends’ of Maara Roa to mix in with people of a range of ages; especially older volunteers sharing their life experience with him.

‘Before I came here, I used to be a very competitive guy who would do things that aren’t so smart.’

And during my visit, I can tell older volunteers enjoy chatting to a young guy so interested in listening and learning.

At the plant nursery Alfred works with another volunteer making cardboard collars to protect young plants when they are newly transplanted out to Cannons Creek. Juliet, his Manager, tells me Alfred is ‘exceptionally willing to help’ and as another team-member puts it, ‘he is worth his weight in gold!’ I sensed a great spirit of companionship and team-working at the nursery.

Alfred comes across as a very confident and self-assured guy with a lot of good things to look forwards to in life. And it is no surprise Alfred feels his new-found confidence, friendly way of speaking and positive attitude has been a major factor in his successful application for a permanent part-time role at ‘Pack and Save’ in Porirua.

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About Volunteer Wellington

Volunteer Wellington | Te Puna Tautoko is the champion of volunteering in New Zealand Aotearoa!

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