Vol­un­teer tu­tor shares her pas­sion

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KARO­LINE TUCKEY

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.

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