Volunteers Making a Difference – Article
Luigi & Danuta
Australian Multicultural Community Services (AMCS) provide a number of volunteer programs that are beneficial to seniors.
The main purpose of Community Visitors Scheme Expansion is to match socially isolated seniors with AMCS volunteers who speak the same language, share hobbies and interests and like to have a chat over a cuppa.
Danuta Zdanis (87) lives in her own home in Bentleigh. Her case manager referred her to AMCS for Visiting Program in October 2014. Since 2014 Danuta has had two female Polish volunteers that she truly connected with, as they have similar backgrounds and upbringing. She was then offered a male visitor. At first, Danuta was reluctant to have a male volunteer as she didn’t think they will have much to talk about. After a few conversations with a volunteer coordinator, she agreed to meet the volunteer that was male, named Luigi. He started volunteering for AMCS with the hope of helping an Italian, French, Portuguese or Spanish resident in Australia.
It has been three months since their first meeting and both of them enjoy every minute of their time together. Luigi visits Danuta every fortnight and they always have something in common to talk about.
Danuta offered this comment, “Luigi’s visits are something that I always looked forward to very much.”
Danuta is always happy when she has visitors that she can chat with.
“With Luigi, I can chat for hours as he is not boring and we always can talk about anything and everything,” she said.
Danuta likes going back to her memories from the past and share her traveling stories with Luigi.
Luigi looks forward to each visit with Danuta as “he feels that he is needed and his role as a volunteer is much appreciated.”
Luigi and Danuta share the same views in many aspects of life, therefore each visit is unique.