Volunteer Spotlight: Rana

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Rana picturesRana is one of our two Bachelor of Social Work placement students here at the Emergency Food Hamper Program, along with Iris. She is here on Fridays and the rest of the time she is at Courtland-Shelley community centre. Since both she and Iris are here until June, I decided that it would be a good opportunity to get to know her better. She is originally a nutritionist from Lebanon and decided to make a career change once her kids were more grown up. She is catching on fast and is clearly passionate about the work we do here.

How did you hear about House of Friendship?

I found out about the House of Friendship through the University of Waterloo Placement Fair. The placement fair is where all the BSW students and the MSW students find placements for the year. I met Michael (the chaplain) at the fair and he explained the programs and then I chose the House of Friendship to do my placement.

What do you enjoy about your placement at the EFHP?

I enjoy working with the staff because they are friendly and approachable. I like learning about the process here and helping people that come to the program. It’s good to see the face of poverty and those that are affected. The environment really encourages learning and personal growth.

What’s your favourite job at our program?

I enjoy doing intake and packing hampers. I like packing hampers and making choices that will help them. I like to customize the hampers for each individual household. I like doing intake and learning about why they use the program and what brought them here.

How has placement impacted your life?

I have started to appreciate that I take for granted like food, and health. It has given me more in depth understanding about the connection between health and food security and the impact of food security on people’s life. I learned that poverty gives someone a real lack of control over their life.

Are there any other programs that you or have volunteered with?

I used to volunteer at Strong Start in Laurel wood Public School which is a reading program for kindergarten and grade 1. I also volunteered at a senior’s home and I entertained the residents by walking and chatting with them. I also took them places like the mall.

What kind of activities or hobbies do you enjoy when you aren’t working or volunteering?

I like to relax by watching TV, going for walks and travelling. My favourite place is Florence Italy and my family goes back to Lebanon every summer. I also like to read and watch documentaries.

Thank you so much for taking some time out of your busy schedule to let us get to know you. It’s great to learn about someone who will play a big role in the organization over the next nine months. We also appreciate your willingness to learn and to get started right away. Thanks so much Rana!

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