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Volunteer Juliet

'it makes me happy to help others'

My name is Juliet and I am a Ugandan aged 26 years. Blessed is the only word that I can use to describe the Netherlands. Because never did I know that I would find such a very welcoming country with nice and hospitable people. The journey I made to come here, was not very pleasant. I did not trust the police and I had to go through a lot. But ever since I came to the Netherlands, I have been seeing very kind, good and friendly people. Thinking about all the good things that have been happening to me since I came here, makes me want to show my gratitude and do something back. And whenever I walk on the street and see someone in need of a hand it is always my pleasure to help.

A few months back I asked if I could help an old man called Mr. Albert (83 years old). He is living next door and I help him every Friday now with some house work like: folding his and his wife's clothes, cleaning his sink, taking the trash out or just drink a cup of tea. We talk about so many funny things and it makes him happy. And he also helps me to learn more about the Dutch culture. Which also makes me happy. Helping Mr. Albert opened my eyes and I thought of ways that I could help other people who are in this stage in their life. When I discussed this with the people at Humanitas, they tried to look for elderly homes for me to volunteer in. However, I did not manage to get any jobs because my Dutch is not that good yet.

Helping Mr. Albert opened my eyes

I felt really bad about it, but it motivated me to practice my Dutch. I never stopped wanting to help others. So I discussed this with my buddy Moniek, who introduced me to a website called Rotterdammersvoorelkaar, where I signed in and looked for voluntary work.

The first person I helped was Desi from Blijdorp. She needed help with her garden. I was really happy about it and I thought it was going to be very easy. Until she showed me the tools she bought which I had to use.. They were all new and I had no idea how they worked. But since I did this sort of work in my country, in Uganda, I decided to give it a try. I used the available tools to clear the garden until I finished it. I was so happy that day because the woman was so appreciative that she also forwarded me to her mother for the same kind of voluntary work. This motivated me more to use the website and I am always happy whenever I get a message from someone asking me to volunteer. It helps me to fulfill my passion.

I was so happy that day because the woman was so appreciative that she also forwarded me to her mother for the same kind of voluntary work.

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