Ella joined us in the summer as both a Volunteer Fundraiser with Action Hosting and a Teaching Assistant with Action Language.
Ella explained: “I am a second year Edinburgh university student who was lucky enough to have the opportunity to volunteer with Action Foundation, working with both action language and action hosting. I am an active member of a few university societies that support refugee rights and was very keen to complete some sort of work experience within a refugee charity. When I began researching refugee charities to get involved in I was particularly drawn to action foundation because of it’s focus on overcoming exclusion through providing skills which enable community integration, through its provision of English lessons and also through the hosting scheme; which I thought was so important in ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers have a positive experience and are able to give back and feel at home living in England. Prior to my volunteering I had never dwelled on the importance of speaking English, because it’s something that comes so naturally to me, but the work Action Language do in providing free English lessons is so essential in making every aspect of the student’s lives easier and more accessible. I was initially a little nervous entering into language classes having had no experience teaching and not being particularly patient or good at explaining things, which I considered pretty essential teacher qualities, however the other volunteers and the teacher were so helpful and my fears were all incorrect. I really enjoyed the time I spent volunteering within the language school and was struck by the warmth of the students and volunteers and also enjoyed being involved in the process of learning English and the lifechanging effect it could have on the lives of the students. Through the time I spent within the language school it made me realise that for the students the lessons offered not only a way to learn English but also a way for people, who could easily become isolated, to meet friendly faces and get to know a network of other students in similar positions, and it was a pleasure to temporarily be part of the little community of students and volunteers of Action Language.”
“As well as my involvement with Action Language I had the opportunity to work with Action Hosting and came to better understand the depressing reality of what the fate for many rejected asylum seekers could be. However, I also got to see the life-changing work Action Hosting and the volunteer hosts do which through the simple idea of matching up hosts with spare rooms transforms the lives of both the asylum seekers who stay as guests and also in many ways the hosts as well. My personal project within the action Hosting department involved brainstorming ways to spread the word about action Hosting and attempting to find new hosts, this was great to be part of because it gave me a sense of autonomy and also hopefully will generate a new wave of hosts. My time at Action Foundation was extremely rewarding, both in terms of providing an understanding of the daily running’s of a charity and how a little bit of time from volunteers in English classes or through offering up a spare room it can completely transform the lives of asylum seekers and refugees” Ella added.
Thank you Ella for all your hard work and great company!