More than 2,000 AMES volunteers pay it forward by giving their time to training those new to Australia
Mandeep Kaur cannot think of a more valuable way to spend her spare time than to volunteer with AMES Australia, helping new migrants improve their English and settle into the Australian way of life.
Mandeep moved from India to Australia eight years ago as a student, and knows how important it is to learn about your new country and culture through the help of others.
She worked hard to receive her Australian citizenship in 2014, and as a volunteer tutor with AMES Australia, she says history is repeating herself as she helps her students do the same.
For one hour a week she travels to the home of her student Najma from Pakistan to tutor her in English. At the moment, says Mandeep, they are learning from the Australian Citizenship test book.
Najma hopes to apply for her citizenship too, and so is studying about Australia’s states and territories, history and other facts with the help of Mandeep.
Mandeep says her volunteering experience has been greatly assisted by AMES Australia.
“AMES provided me with all the teaching resources I need, so planning our weekly lesson is very easy,” Mandeep says.
“It is also helpful that I speak some Urdu, which is Najma’s native language. So resort to it if we need to now and then,” she says.
Mandeep says that there has been no better time than now to volunteer with migrants and refugees.
“With so many people displaced around the world, a lot of them need our help. More than anything I hope people like me will put their hand up,” she says. “It’s a great thing to do, and it goes a long way to help the people arriving in Australia.”