When Ruvimbo Tambiri spent her April school holidays helping seniors living at MercyCare’s residential aged care facility in Rockingham, the experience had such a profound impact on her life that she relinquished her July holidays to continue her efforts.
“Volunteering at MercyCare in Rockingham was one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my life,” the Year 10 Mercedes College student from Secret Harbour said.
Ruvimbo’s selfless efforts have been praised during National Student Volunteer Week, which runs from August 14 to 20 to acknowledge the generous work of young people who strive to make genuine change through volunteering.
Ruvimbo volunteered at MercyCare Rockingham for 20 hours during the April school holidays as part of her school program and returned in July for another 25 hours.
“I worked alongside many aged care professionals, occupational therapists and carers, learning just how important it is for organisations like MercyCare to help support people as they age,” she said.
“It allowed me to build professional relationships and lifelong skills, and it has helped me to have a different outlook on life and the way I choose to live it.
“There is so much joy in giving and making a positive impact on other people’s lives.”
The MercyCare Schools Program, now in its fourth year, opens the community service experience to student volunteers at a range of MercyCare sites, including in child care, aged care and respite care for people living with dementia.
MercyCare Schools Liaison and Volunteers Officer Louise Mason said more than 70 high school students had volunteered a staggering 680 hours with MercyCare in the July school holidays alone.
“As part of their school curriculum, the students complete 20 hours of Service Learning, but many go over and above that,” Ms Mason said. “It is a remarkable and selfless commitment.
“Having students share their time helps them to realise just how rewarding volunteering can be and how their actions are making an impact on the lives of others. At the same time, they are being exposed to a range of MercyCare services and helping people most in need.”
MercyCare Chief Executive Officer Chris Hall paid tribute to the student volunteers who gave their time to help others across MercyCare’s range of community services.
“The contributions of student volunteers can have a very significant impact on the lives of our service users,” Mr Hall said. “We commend them for their efforts and value greatly their selfless decisions to work with our teams.”