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Members of the groups at Massey University Wellington (RCMW) and University of Victoria (VicRed) study subjects like commerce, criminology and communications. Despite their diverse career goals, they’re united in their drive to build strong communities comprising socially conscious students.
The university group is helping students gain experience in their areas of interest. Nina Bowley, co-chair of VicRed, says “It’s cool to grow students’ enthusiasm for helping others”. Nina believes the around 50 active members of VicRed bring fresh ideas to New Zealand Red Cross.
Nina’s co-chair Leon Lim believes in building community resilience. He also volunteers as a Disaster Welfare and Support Team member. “I’ve been pushing that at uni as well – teaching people what to expect when something goes wrong and how to deal with it.
”Managing volunteer work with exams and assignments can be challenging, but Leon finds the time for his Red Cross role because he enjoys it.This year Kaj Yao founded RCMW. He has already recruited 34 active members, with more expected to join. “We’re just like a newborn baby, small and everything is new to us but we’re growing and learning fast”.
Kaj is passionate about helping others and sees volunteering as a way to learn about the local culture. “New Zealanders have an amazing sense of community”.Through voluntary work the RCMW and VicRed members are equipped in leadership, team work and problem-solving, skills that will prove beneficial as they enter the workforce.