“I always strive to impact other people’s lives, it’s never been just about the greening, but it is social as well.”

You might have met Naomi Gichungu at IRCOM, walking among the plants in our various greening spaces, and helping out a great deal by giving advice on how to grow the biggest and sweetest tomatoes using the right amount of water and the perfect dose of sunlight. It’s a great use for her background in environmental studies, agroforestry and farming.

She gained her primary volunteer experiences throughCanada World Youth, which left a strong impression on her, so in 2012 she started to help out at IRCOM in one of thxe intermediate English classes. She then moved on to work alongside Jim Beckta in IRCOM’s greening program, that not only greens the IRCOM house façade and yard, but also teaches us to understand what it takes to transform a seed into a well-nourished plant that can provide food for the community.

“For me volunteering with IRCOM is all about giving and receiving,” she says and explains that for her it is not just about dedicating her time to others, but that she sees her personal benefit in the opportunity to engage with people who share a common knowledge about her home country and provide the opportunity to speak Swahili.

When I asked her what she would say to someone who is considering becoming a volunteer in one of IRCOM’s many programs, she replied: “I would always come back to IRCOM,” and explained further that it is not just because of IRCOM’s flexibility with volunteers’ schedules, especially students, but also because “if you have the time, but don’t spend it productively, you’re not investing in what you are capable of – you are robbing yourself regarding amazing opportunities to grow as a person as much as others.”

“What are you waiting for?” Ramogi challenges everyone who has ever considered getting involved in volunteer work. “It’s a great experience for both parties, for you as a volunteer and the kids.”

(more…)

For the past six months, we have been volunteering with the After School Program at IRCOM and we have really enjoyed our time here. (more…)

Like the tenants, staff, and program attendees who live, work, and play here, IRCOM volunteers often find themselves confronted by new situations. Such was the case for Alex Bakhiet as he looked over the next month’s schedule for the After-School Program one winter day.  (more…)

Inspired by her grandparents’ story, young Winnipegger devotes her time to helping newcomer kids (more…)

IRCOM children

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