Meet Maddy

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Volunteer role: Work experience intern, July 2013

My week at Jewish Aid was one of the greatest and most valuable experiences I have had. I was there for work experience at the end of June. Everyone I met and everything I did represented an amazing insight into the way not-for-profit organisations work, and especially community-based organisations like JAA.

During the week, I undertook different tasks and visited both of JAA’s Sudanese women’s groups. Every day I was with a different staff member, learning about the different departments and the respective coordinators and their jobs. This included Education with Elise: creating a facts document about homelessness to be used for school programs. Planning and Reporting with Zoe: researching and recording information about services relating to the Sudanese women’s groups. Community Education with Joel: researching websites, documents, organisations and videos that will be used to support articles on The Well as further reading. Administration with Ravit: typing and compiling feedback surveys from programs in schools, and helping look after the kids at the women’s groups and during homework club.

Attending the women’s group was a great experience. They left me amazed at how the hard work of very few people made so many other people happy. I looked after the women’s children during both groups, and it was great to interact with members of a community with whom, ordinarily, I wouldn’t have much connection.  As well as the people that worked at JAA and their incredible dedication, I was amazed by the number of volunteers who gave endless hours, and the constant flow of donations. On the first day of work experience, I noticed two large laundry bags in the office, which I soon discovered were full of hand-knitted clothes for the Sudanese children, all generously knitted and donated by a group of women around Australia who sent them in by the bagful. It really opened my eyes to how much people genuinely care about helping vulnerable communities in Australia.

“My week at Jewish Aid was one of the greatest and most valuable experiences I have had. “

The week was incredible. The dedication and enthusiasm of the staff and volunteers at JAA shows how much people really want the best for everyone, regardless of their ethnicity. It was an absolute honour to be able to complete my work experience at JAA and I would like to thank everyone who accommodated me over the week. I hope to continue my involvement as JAA is an organisation helping make better communities through Tzedakah (justice), Chessed (kindness) and working towards Tikkun Olam (repairing the world).

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