AMES offers volunteering opportunities with benefits to all involved in the program. Jyoty Sharma tells her story
Giving is often about receiving. By volunteering time and skills we often receive benefits we could never have imagined.
Jyoty Sharma arrived in Australia and used the services of AMES to resettle herself and gain an entry into employment. Later, she discovered a journey she hadn’t foreseen, but which opened another world of opportunities to her.
Back in India, Jyoty had tutored and worked as a teacher, so when she found out about AMES Australia’s volunteer tutor program she wanted to get involved.
She began tutoring newly arrived migrants and refugees in English not long after moving to Melbourne, Australia in 2015.
Jyoty undertook an employment readiness course with settlement agency AMES Australia. The course is designed to increase client skills for entry to the workforce as it covers Australian workplace communication, CVs and interviews, and includes two weeks of arranged work placement.
“I think confidence is the main hurdle people face when they move here,” says Jyoty, who adds that the course improved her confidence as used to be nervous about answering the phone or asking for help.
She completed two weeks of work placement as an administration assistant at the Epworth Hospital in Richmond and has since gone on to receive a two-month contract position with the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
AMES Australia’s volunteer tutors undertake a short training program and are provided with teaching resources and advice on how to recognise a student’s English proficiency levels.
Jyoty now tutors a Koren couple from Myanmar at their Laverton home. The couple have been assessed as pre-beginners in English.
“We take the lessons very slowly. Sometimes they ask me to help them navigate everyday tasks like going to the doctors,” says Jyoty.
“We get along well and sometimes we see each other at the market. It is really nice to teach cross-cultural understanding,” she adds.
“Many people from different backgrounds offer their time to the community through volunteering. So many of us believe we don’t have anything to offer, but this assumption is so far from the truth. I believe one can really expand one’s horizons by volunteering,” she adds.
Photo caption: Jyoty Sharma