Bobby decided to extend his working experience by being a mentor to an EVS volunteer from Austria working in ASH Wales. Read why he enjoys being a mentor so much!
Bobby Singh-Landa is part of youth development team in ASH Wales Cymru, our partner organization hosting international volunteers coming through European Voluntary Service (EVS) into their office. As a leading organization working for a smokefree Wales, ASH Wales raises awareness of the health, social and economic effects of smoking by working with communities, young people and partners across Wales. Bobby decided to extend his working experience by being a mentor to EVS volunteer from Austria working in ASH Wales. As a mentor he provides personal support for the volunteer and help him with integration into the local community.
“I have already been in the organization for over the year and I have been asked, if I would feel comfortable to be mentor for an Austrian volunteer coming to our office. I was free and needed a project to develop myself so I thought that being a mentor would be a great idea and good experience. I have never spent much time around people from other countries before so I was quite apprehensive. I felt sense of responsibility for that volunteer, who haven’t been in Wales before. We had mentor’s training with Michi, the EVS coordinator from UNA Exchange. She explained us really well basic things about volunteer’s life, where they will be live in, what initial things you should do like sign in to doctor surgery or opening a bank account or where the local shops are. I didn’t think about many of these things before, because I living in this country all my life. That was really useful for me to learn about these things.
Straight away after the volunteer arrived I gave him my contact number and work phone so he could approach me if he needed something. It was totally new experience and I did not know what to expect and what kind of personality volunteer will be. I helped him with opening his bank account, we talked very informally about his feelings and settling in Cardiff. We have done lot of social things together: we have been on football matches together, I took him to play football, we went eat and have a few drinks. I think it is good to have a common ground especially if you are from different cultures as we are.
I love being mentor. I enjoy being one of the main people for the EVS volunteer in our work. He is the main person I interact with and for me that is nice to have that level of relationship. He also helping me a lot with my work. On the daily basis in the work he supports me in the task I have got to do. We work with young people and he is closer to their age than me so he can help me to communicate with them. I would probably select him as a friend outside of work anyway, so it is like working with a friend every day for me. He is more now like a member of staff than a volunteer.
Being a mentor for EVS volunteer is giving me a good experience to being able to work with somebody closely. For me that is the first time to mentoring someone. I though it will be a long more formal and challenging, but I enjoyed it a lot more that I thought I would. In the beggining I felt pressured to mentor someone from different country but now I would say it is even better, because we have got so much more to learn from each other. I think being a mentor for an EVS volunteer is brilliant experience, especially if you don’t have any previous experience of mentoring people this could be a good introduction. For me it is great thing I can add to my list of experience. “
- Become a mentor and friend for EVS volunteers coming to Wales! Put your skills and time in order to help young volunteers from abroad to adapt to a new environment in the local community.
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