VOLUNTEERS WEEK 2020 WE WOULD LIKE TO SAY A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR PAST AND PRESENT VOLUNTEERS THIS VOLUNTEERS WEEK. You make the team complete. Thank you to all the volunteers who help with reception, administration, communications, and to all of our trustees. I’m Asha, a volunteer at reception. I am currently in my second year at Cardiff University studying Human Geography. I decided to volunteer with refugees and asylum seekers after studying forced migration at A-Level. This is also one of the reasons I chose to study Human Geography. I thoroughly enjoy volunteering at Oasis as it has allowed me to meet new people, who I wouldn’t have necessarily met otherwise. It has allowed me to learn about a variety of different cultures and has encouraged me to look into a career surrounding refugees and asylum seekers.Thank you to all the volunteers who help with the catering both, at Oasis and externally. "For me to volunteer and to be able to contribute my grain of sand is a lot for me, since I always liked to serve the community. And it is also the most direct way to thank all of you for what you do for us, maybe most people don't even notice it but I do and I always want to thank you at Oasis! Since we got here to Cardiff my family and I have felt a lot as they support us in anything and in Oasis I've known people who motivate me to be better." Alis Cartagena - KitchenThank you to all the volunteers who help with the Women’s Only Groups. "My name is Savanna Teubes and I've recently moved to Cardiff from South Africa. I graduated with a BA Humanities degree in Anthropology, sociology, and psychology. Through exposure to these subjects, I developed a huge passion and love for learning about different cultures. I find it vital to understand the backgrounds of individuals in order to avoid marginalisation and segregation. #Volunteering at Oasis has truly been a heartwarming experience. I do art with refugee and asylum-seeking women. Here the women are allowed to enter a safe space without feeling pressured to verbalise how they are feeling. We all unite and express through art. I have found it truly touching seeing how #art is able to bring women from various backgrounds together, so effortlessly. We focus on the process of creating art instead of the product of the artwork and it is beautiful watching the women’s faces light up as time passes and as they get deeper and deeper immersed in their artwork. It has been a huge pleasure working with the women as well as the staff at Oasis. I can see the magical journey of artistic expression unfold and transcend all boundaries. This experience has affirmed that I would like to further my studies to pursue a career in art therapy. I have felt extremely welcomed and included and would like to thank you all at Oasis for that. I look very forward to the time that lies ahead." Savanna Teubes - Women's art and craftsThank you to all the volunteers who help with the sports activities and to the barbers who give a great hair cut. "Volunteering within the sport and wellbeing activities at Oasis has helped me to gain valuable experiences. I’ve learned to be a better team player by following instructions and I’ve learned to be a better team leader by giving advice while playing sports. In addition, I have gained insight into war-torn countries from volunteering at Oasis, giving me a perspective of the world that has helped me to mature as a person." Volunteer Cheong.Thank you to all the volunteers who help with creative projects. "I run a Storytelling English lesson every Thursday at Oasis. Each week we learn and explore a traditional story. First, I present the story as a series of simply drawn pictures. Then, I teach the vocabulary. Next, the students read the story. Finally, they tell the story themselves.Every week at Oasis Cardiff I meet people from all over the world, from all walks of life. In sharing the traditional, familiar stories I feel the human connection between us. We laugh, cry, and wonder about the same things. When we listen to stories and when we tell stories, we remember all the things we have in common." Cath Little - StorytellingThank you to all the volunteers who help with family activities and trips. "I’ve helped take some refugees to the opera sometimes and in the past have had some great experiences of accompanying refugees on a wide variety of outings. I find the people at Oasis to be lovely, good-hearted people despite the problems and uncertainties they face. I attend Oasis because I enjoy it, meeting people from all over the world, who have lived through the headlines you sometimes see on the news. I get more out of it than I put in without a doubt." Steve Hathway- Family Trips and EnglishThank you to all the volunteers who help with the English lessons. "My name is Ceinwen Jones and I started volunteering at Oasis in September 2018 as an ESOL (English) teacher for the morning drop-in sessions. I am a pensioner now with a varied career behind me, but many years ago I was a teacher of ESOL in Madagascar for two years. I decided to volunteer because I wanted to use that experience - however distant - to be of help to refugees and asylum-seekers. Once started, I found that the old skills, though rusty, soon came back into action, the main difference being that nowadays we can use technology to help us! The drop-in sessions vary in numbers, personnel and levels, but we often see the same students returning week after week, and it is gratifying to see their enjoyment as they realise that their English is improving. A grasp of English, and of a few words of Welsh, is so important for the future of the students - whatever they do - and I am happy to have the opportunity, in however small way, to get them started. It has been a pleasure to work with the teaching assistants and staff, too. I very much look forward to getting back to classes after Covid-19." Ceinwen - English Lessons Thank you to the volunteers that have shared their stories this week and to everyone behind the scenes that keeps Oasis Cardiff going.