As part of Student Volunteering week we’ve asked our some of our volunteers who are currently studying to write about their experience volunteering with ACE at The Learning Club.
In this post we hear from Aliese who is volunteering at our weekly Thursday session.
Hello, I am Aliese, a year 12 student from Cardiff Sixth Form College. I moved to Cardiff six months ago and am enjoying my time studying, reading books and playing basketball here. It was really challenging for me, to leave Hong Kong – the place I have been living for almost 17 years, and move to a new environment. During this time, problems like language barriers and cultural shock are something I have been experiencing daily. To integrate into local and with the fact that I really want to become a paediatrician in the future, I decided to do childcare volunteering.
It is a good start volunteering at TLC. All volunteers there are nice and making me feel like home. I work as a teacher assistant and it give me a lot of opportunities to learn and practise communicating with kids. I find these sessions really enjoyable and rewarding as I get to guide them through maths problems, thought procedures and create fun crafts. I have been volunteering at TLC for 3 months now. Out of all of the sessions, making animals out of origami was my favourite. I even kept a bouncy frog origami in my room! Every time I see the frog, the children’s smiley faces just come popping out of my head, bringing me joy throughout the day.
In Hong Kong, I have participated in other volunteering works: the MC of the opening ceremony of my school’s open days, sold flags on community flag raising days, a member of the scripture reading team for catholic masses and a volunteer at the Pet Expo held at the Hong Kong Asia World Expo. The Expo was held by SPCA HK and I joined them to raise awareness of abandoned pets. It featured craft making with families and promoted the importance of the message ‘Think Twice before owning a pet’.
Through these volunteering experiences, I have learnt a lot of skills and knowledge that I can use for my future careers, such as communication, time management, organisation, confidence, motivation and much more. Volunteering allows me to make more friends and contribute to society/community. I believe that through TLC and other coming volunteering experiences, I will get a deeper understanding of Welsh and British culture, gradually building a sense of belonging towards Cardiff.
Being an A-level student, the academic workload I face is no joke. School lasts for around 9 hours every day and academic information comes flooding into my brain every day. In the first few weeks, I struggled to stay awake at school after volunteering. I realised that I hadn’t scheduled my time wisely. I prioritise my time so that I won’t be doing assignments the night before deadlines. With this effective scheduling, life becomes easier. I can then plan more super curricular/extracurricular activities to expose myself.
‘It’s more blessed to give than receive’ (Acts 20:35) Volunteering not only brings good to society but also increases personal development. Believe me or not – Spend your time productively and help others by volunteering in any way you can, it’ll bring fun and fulfilment to your life!