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Student Volunteer Army

Sieun Park —

A report from Roncalli's SVA School Ambassador

The Student Volunteer Army provides students with opportunities to volunteer in their communities in the process of which they may learn new skills and meet new people. It was initiated by a Canterbury University student, Sam Johnson, following the Christchurch earthquake in September 2010 to assist local residents and help clean up the city.

“Volunteering is the selfless giving of your time and energy to help others and benefit your community.” Although this may include participation in organised group projects such as can drives or beach clean ups, there is no limit to the number of individual activities that are also available from which to choose. For example, tutoring fellow students requiring extra support or helping out your neighbours in a time of need.

On a personal level, I became involved with the SVA when I first came to New Zealand as a Year 9 student as a way of becoming involved in areas of the community outside school. My initial experiences included helping with Girls Brigade, reading with junior students at Sacred Heart Primary School and assisting the Activities Coordinator at Elloughton Gardens Rest Home. Alternatively, volunteering can also be done online with Covid increasing the availability of this option. Students who have missed valuable teaching time are requiring additional support, especially with maths. Currently, I am tutoring English, Maths and Science online and working with students from all around the world who do not have the financial resources to pay for individual tuition.

In recognition of your volunteer activities, the SVA awards badges to participants to acknowledge their hours of service

● Member - 5 hours

● Bronze - 32 hours

● Silver - 250 hours

● Gold - 500 hours

● Top Volunteer - awarded annually

I have found my volunteering opportunities to be rewarding experiences especially because of the way in which people have shown their appreciation for the assistance they received.

As a result, I have opted to further my involvement by becoming an ambassador for SVA at Roncalli College. Therefore, should you decide to join up, I can be contacted by email at si.park@roncalli.school.nz to help with any questions you may have about SVA.