This week’s #FacesofCitywise, sees one of our brilliant ESC volunteers, telling their Citywise story. Keep on reading to find out the lasting effects Citywise has on our members, staff and volunteers!
“My name is Sibel. I am a 29-year-old English teacher who has been working for the Turkish Ministry of Education since 2014. I am an amateur painter and a freelance writer. I write columns for some Turkish educational magazines and websites, as well as leading my blogs. In my free time, I love visiting museums, playing the piano, going hiking, and gardening. I also love collecting flowers and press them to use as tools for my resin art. This year, I came to Ireland as a volunteer.” Like a lot of our ESC volunteers, they come to Citywise with a lot of different passions. Citywise helps them to develop these passions further, as seen by Sibel’s great involvement in the development of our Art Club!
“When I decided I wanted to volunteer in Ireland, I applied for five different organizations here, and I was actually accepted by all of them. Accepting an offer was harder than the application process. However, finally, I chose to be a part of the Citywise team which I believe is the best decision I have ever made. I have gotten the chance to work with kids aged between eight to 18 years old. In my opinion, Citywise aims to support students’ education by offering after-school programmes which are developed to improve the child’s social and academic lives. As a result of this, I deliver online and face-to-face activities and workshops with the students. I have to plan the sessions according to the needs of the kids and the expectation of the organisation. Though I have specific timelines and schedules as an ESC volunteer, every day I know that something different might happen. One day you can see someone wearing a Magician’s costume, while the next day you might see another person with a facemask for art class. It is clear that the staff do their best to make the learning process as fun and enjoyable for the kids as possible. I never get bored or feel alone as I know there is always someone out there ready to listen, share and help.” This is a feeling we hope everyone can relate to when entering Citywise.
“Volunteering with the ESC program has been on my bucket list since 2011. I came to Citywise to learn more about the National Curriculum of Ireland and how the education system works here. Also, I knew that here, I would enrich my teaching, leadership, organisational and communicating skills, as well as gaining experience in teaching abroad. As I mentioned before, I was accepted by five hosting organisations.”
“It was really hard to decide which place to volunteer. Since Citywise was in Dublin, and with the staff prior to my acceptance being so helpful and supportive, I thought I would complete myself here. Also, looking at their webpages and Facebook account for two years, I was familiar with what was going on within the organisation. I love teaching. Leaving my students behind was going to make me sad, but I knew Citywise had some brilliant students for me to meet. Also, I saw the art room’s picture on the internet, and I fell in love with it, and the Citywise building. Another thing that made me volunteer with Citywise was the STEM courses, technological equipment in the lab and the smiling staff.”
“My favourite thing about Citywise Education is that it provides professional and personal support to its volunteers. For example, to include us in Christmas and other celebrations, asking if everything is alright with weekly meetings, always having someone there to help you, allocating time to ESC volunteers every week and evaluating the process with them. Citywise really is the full package!”
“In addition to this, Elaine's food, great technology and equipment in the institution, and the friendly, helpful attitude of the staff are all of the things that make me want to stay with Citywise for as long as I can. They guide and support us not only in the fields we are specialized in, but also in the points we are interested in and want to improve. I have no previous experience with STEM, but here, I can improve myself by attending both cultural, academic, and STEM classes. As a result, despite the Covid 19 pandemic, although I cannot travel the country or socialize, I enjoy every moment I spend in Citywise Education.” We couldn’t agree more, Sibel. Without our ESC volunteers, we could not facilitate the running of over 15 programmes every week! Our ESC volunteers are simply the best!