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Find your home at Red Cross


Red Cross has been a part of this volunteer's life for as long as she can remember. For Sheila, Red Cross is home.

Friday July 21, 2017

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My name is Sheila and I am a volunteer for Red Cross.

Back in my home country of the Philippines I was an optometrist. I moved to Australia to study for my Masters degree, which I recently completed.

At Red Cross I volunteer for the Migration Support Programs in the Northern Territory. I want to share my story because I am loving every bit of it!

Red Cross is with me from my earliest childhood memories.

My mum is a social worker and has worked with Philippine Red Cross for 38 years.

I started volunteering for Red Cross at a very young age, and made many of my childhood friends there.

As a child, I would help the fundraising team during campaigns, holding a coin bank and asking for donations inside shopping centres or outside on the street.

I also volunteered for Red Cross Youth, performing in a production with homeless youth where we showcased our talents like dancing, singing and acting. During disasters and emergencies I would volunteer to pack goods for the people in evacuation centres. Sometimes I would invite my friends to help pack!

I was always ready to help whenever I can because with Red Cross, I felt happy.

I was born with a congenital physical disability and I dreamed of working overseas.

However on my first day of work in Singapore, at a laser eye clinic, I was fired because of my disability.

I was devastated. I was depressed, even suicidal. But when someone from Singapore Red Cross reached out to me, I felt better. Just hearing from Red Cross made me feel a bit better, because with Red Cross, I feel safe.

I decided to return to the Philippines to be with my family, but it was difficult. I felt ashamed and I was hiding from everyone. Slowly, I started listening to my mother's advice and went to Philippine Red Cross with her. I began volunteering as an administrative assistant again. It was somewhere I knew everyone would welcome me back. Then I decided to live again, because with Red Cross, I feel at home.

As you grow older, you realise the things which matter the most.

In 2014, I was lucky enough to see Australia for the first time when I decided to study again. I am passionate about public health so I decided to specialise in it. Health promotion can help people to improve their own health and quality of life, which is so important.

Red Cross is the perfect place for me to put into practice all the theories I learned at uni.

When I completed my degree in Queensland at the end of last year, I started applying for volunteer positions in Red Cross all over Australia. I was successful in finding a role in the Northern Territory. Moving to a place where I do not know anyone was pretty scary, but Red Cross was the first thing that came to mind. Truly, everything happens for a reason.

Today marks my first month as a volunteer in the Red Cross NT team and I couldn't be happier!

I always look forward to Mondays because I know I will be there at Red Cross: helping, learning and growing.

As a volunteer for the In Search of Safety program, I particularly enjoy going to schools and communities to raise awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers. I am always excited reading our evaluation forms and stepping back just to reflect on what went well and what should we improve. I just love doing it!

I am slowly finding myself becoming very passionate about refugee and asylum seeker issues.

I am learning about the refugee crisis: from watching informative videos, to checking the UNHCR website, to borrowing books from the library about refugees or asylum seekers. I am also learning about other equally significant social issues like human trafficking.

This is exactly where I want to be; constantly learning and developing my professional skills like collaboration, communication, information and digital literacy, problem solving, critical thinking, being engaged, creative and ethical.

More importantly, I feel empowered because the support I get from everyone at Red Cross is beyond amazing. I could not be more proud to be part of this team!

At Red Cross, I am home.

 

Join our volunteer team

Want to find your home at Red Cross? Check out our volunteer opportunities.

For volunteer Sheila, Red Cross is home.
For volunteer Sheila, Red Cross is home.

My name is Sheila and I am a volunteer for Red Cross.

Back in my home country of the Philippines I was an optometrist. I moved to Australia to study for my Masters degree, which I recently completed.

At Red Cross I volunteer for the Migration Support Programs in the Northern Territory. I want to share my story because I am loving every bit of it!

Red Cross is with me from my earliest childhood memories.

My mum is a social worker and has worked with Philippine Red Cross for 38 years.

I started volunteering for Red Cross at a very young age, and made many of my childhood friends there.

As a child, I would help the fundraising team during campaigns, holding a coin bank and asking for donations inside shopping centres or outside on the street.

I also volunteered for Red Cross Youth, performing in a production with homeless youth where we showcased our talents like dancing, singing and acting. During disasters and emergencies I would volunteer to pack goods for the people in evacuation centres. Sometimes I would invite my friends to help pack!

I was always ready to help whenever I can because with Red Cross, I felt happy.

I was born with a congenital physical disability and I dreamed of working overseas.

However on my first day of work in Singapore, at a laser eye clinic, I was fired because of my disability.

I was devastated. I was depressed, even suicidal. But when someone from Singapore Red Cross reached out to me, I felt better. Just hearing from Red Cross made me feel a bit better, because with Red Cross, I feel safe.

I decided to return to the Philippines to be with my family, but it was difficult. I felt ashamed and I was hiding from everyone. Slowly, I started listening to my mother's advice and went to Philippine Red Cross with her. I began volunteering as an administrative assistant again. It was somewhere I knew everyone would welcome me back. Then I decided to live again, because with Red Cross, I feel at home.

As you grow older, you realise the things which matter the most.

In 2014, I was lucky enough to see Australia for the first time when I decided to study again. I am passionate about public health so I decided to specialise in it. Health promotion can help people to improve their own health and quality of life, which is so important.

Red Cross is the perfect place for me to put into practice all the theories I learned at uni.

When I completed my degree in Queensland at the end of last year, I started applying for volunteer positions in Red Cross all over Australia. I was successful in finding a role in the Northern Territory. Moving to a place where I do not know anyone was pretty scary, but Red Cross was the first thing that came to mind. Truly, everything happens for a reason.

Today marks my first month as a volunteer in the Red Cross NT team.

I always look forward to Mondays because I know I will be there at Red Cross: helping, learning and growing. I couldn't be happier!

As a volunteer for the In Search of Safety program, I particularly enjoy going to schools and communities to raise awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers. I am always excited reading our evaluation forms and stepping back just to reflect on what went well and what should we improve. I just love doing it!

I am slowly finding myself becoming very passionate about refugee and asylum seeker issues.

I am learning about the refugee crisis: from watching informative videos, to checking the UNHCR website, to borrowing books from the library about refugees or asylum seekers. I am also learning about other equally significant social issues like human trafficking.

This is exactly where I want to be; constantly learning and developing my professional skills like collaboration, communication, information and digital literacy, problem solving, critical thinking, being engaged, creative and ethical.

More importantly, I feel empowered because the support I get from everyone at Red Cross is beyond amazing. I could not be more proud to be part of this team!

At Red Cross, I am home.

Join our volunteer team

Want to find your home at Red Cross? Check out our volunteer opportunities.