M’hammed has found a sense of community and belonging through volunteering in Dublin. From helping with English classes to joining charity shops and festivals, he shares how volunteering has helped him to make friends and learn about Irish culture.

“Volunteering has given me an opportunity to meet people from different countries who are asylum seekers like me, but I also got to meet a lot of local people.

“I started volunteering soon after arriving in Dublin six months ago. When I arrived, I met neighbours who volunteer with a local community group, welcoming new arrivals to Ireland. So I started to connect with them until I became volunteer myself, helping with English classes, events, activities, and the community garden.

“Then I heard about the Dublin City Volunteer Centre and the I-VOL website, which opened up loads of new volunteering roles to me. I started volunteering regularly in the NCBI charity shop, became involved in the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, and joined the Together for Better volunteering programme.

“All my volunteering roles have been a real joy. I enjoy being part of a diverse team including Irish people and foreign people from different backgrounds, with different stories. And I enjoy having such a group of friends that I can chat with and have fun with. It gives me a chance to learn about Irish culture, which is very helpful in integrating into Ireland’s global community. Volunteering helps you feel part of the community you live in, and to feel welcome, whoever you are.

“I would like to advise anyone to try volunteering – even just for one or two hours of your life. You deserve the joy of it. You may help others or help your community, and you’ll experience a positive return in your life. Whether you’re a professional, a student, or an asylum seeker, you won’t regret it.”

This National Volunteering Week, we’re celebrating the kindness, compassion, and generosity of volunteers like M’hammed. 

Thank you to M’hammed for sharing his Volunteer Story. Please email [email protected] if you’d like to share yours!

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