Volunteers in Action with Naomi


“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.”

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