I began to volunteer in Dublin City Volunteer Centre two months after I relocated to Dublin. I came here to join my husband and was trying to settle in and find a job. Moving to a new country is a daunting experience. At first, I didn’t have many friends here. As an absolutely outgoing person, I get most of my energy from going out and meeting people. So it isn’t hard to imagine how lonely it was for me to sit around at home or alone in the café trying to fill my time with something to do.
After I joined the Volunteer Centre, I met many kind and loving people with whom I developed genuine and meaningful relationships. It gave me a sense of belonging in this new city. Also, volunteering in the Centre every Tuesday gave me a structure and stability in my life that helped me to settle in more smoothly. It was very hard for me to find a job because of my visa, i.e. stamp 3 (luckily the government has changed the policy recently and I am able to start employment immediately). As my job applications were rejected all the time, I started to feel very anxious about my future. Volunteering in the Centre, which goal is to bridge the charities and volunteers and ultimately contribute to a better society, gave me a sense of purpose and value. I was also improving my communication in English in a professional setting. The recognition for my work from my colleagues and mentors greatly boosted my confidence, which also helped me with my job search.
After eight months in the Centre, I am leaving to start my full-time job. It is very exciting for me, but also sad to leave this lovely place where my journey in Dublin has started. I am so grateful for all the staff and volunteers in Dublin City Volunteer Centre who have shown great kindness and supports along the way.
I would highly recommend volunteering in the Centre!