Volunteer tutor shares her passion
English tutor Jenni Marshall was among volunteers throughout Porirua celebrating Volunteer Week last week.
Miss Marshall has been volunteering for the past two years with the Porirua Language Project, teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages, and more recently, adult literacy.
Volunteers are important to many organisations which benefit our community, and becoming involved is personally rewarding, she says.
‘‘It’s very fulfilling, I absolutely love it; you are meeting different people and different cultures and different perspectives of life, so it makes you think outside the square, it’s really good.’’
The language project was an ideal pathway back to the workforce after taking time out for parenting, she says.
‘‘That was a good start, and it’s going back to the community and I’ve a passion for teaching and this was a good way to pick some of that up.
‘‘ Through it all, you’re learning new skills and doing certificates, and every day’s different.’’
Miss Marshall says it has been rewarding to watch her students progress, and she often recommends friends consider volunteering with the project because she has been so happy with the experience.
‘‘It definitely puts a spark into my day, and it’s one-onone, so it’s a real partnership that’s happening because you are really wanting them to do well,’’ she says.
Another reason to get involved in volunteering is to shape the type of culture you want to live in, she says.
‘‘I think they play a major part [in society], and it’s good to give without having anything in return, and I think that makes society empathetic.
‘‘I think society is so driven with money and this is about helping others.’’
Project manager Suzanne Apanui says it has about 130 volunteers working in ESOL and adult literacy, helping many people for whom the service is a huge benefit.
‘‘It’s vitally important. For the ESOL people it means they have this contact with an English speaker and an opportunity to improve their language.
‘‘Adult literacy learners are upskilled and have the chance to join things like the army or police or apprenticeships. It gives them a chance to complete their learning.’’
The language project celebrated its volunteers and Volunteer Week by holding a champagne breakfast last Friday to thank them for all their work.
Well-deserved: Porirua Language Project volunteer Naam van Toorn, manager Suzanne Apanui and chairman and volunteer George Seconi gathered for a celebratory breakfast to mark Volunteer Week on Friday.