ELPNZ Hutt celebrated National Volunteer Week 2019 at the Dowse Art Museum, and volunteer coordinator Chris Yuan made a speech to those present:
Kia Ora, everyone. My name is Chris. I am from English Language Partners Hutt centre. We are a national organisation which mainly helps refugees and migrants with their language learning and also tries to provide support in their daily life. To achieve these goals, we offer a volunteer programme that trains local volunteers to help our learners through home tutoring to improve English language, introduce Kiwi cultures, and gradually assist them to fit into the community.
Here I want to say ‘thank you’ to all our volunteers. It is your support and personal time devoted to this programme that make our goals achievable and help so many new migrants and refugees settle down well.
Over the years we had over 1000 volunteers who have successfully helped our learners in the Hutt. Some of them had helped their learners accomplish their goals and left. Some have gone and returned. Some have just started recently. Interestingly, we also have witnessed the changes among our volunteers, ie we have more and more young volunteers join us than before. There are also more male volunteers compared to years ago.
But most interestingly, we now have more volunteers from many diverse cultural backgrounds. By looking at last year only, we trained 28 new volunteers, and our 60 volunteers were from 14 different ethical backgrounds, such as Pakeha, Maori, Indian, Chin, German, Greek, Malaysian, Russian and more. With these different cultures, including foods, religions, festivals, dresses, traditions and so on, our programme becomes more diverse.
Our learners can learn not only English from their tutors, but also to embrace different cultures. Meanwhile, our volunteers set perfect examples to our new refugees and migrants that regardless of their backgrounds, they can eventually settle down in New Zealand, a perfect destination for them to live, work, study and finally become a place they call HOME.
As the organiser of this meaningful programme, we are honoured to offer this opportunity to whoever is interested in helping others make New Zealand their home. We welcome you to join us.