How Being a Hero Boosted my Confidence and Changed my Life

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I’m originally from Venezuela. When I moved to Australia 9 years ago, one of the first thing that got my attention was the sense of community in Australia and particularly in my son’s primary school.  I couldn’t believe how parents, careers, teachers and the community work together for the benefit of the kids. I loved this connection and the idea that parents could help at school.

When my oldest son’s started Kindy, I enrolled as a volunteer in the school. The only job available was helping the kids from Kindy to read.

As my first languague was not English, I was reluctant and embarassed to do it but the teacher encouraged me and explained how important would be for the kids and for her to have someone willing to listen to them reading. She said that my accent was not important at all, my presence and support were the key ingredients.  She was right. The kids improved  their reading with that little help.

After that beutiful experience, I volunteered the following years in the Canteen,  in the String Group and in the Band,  in Christmas Carols, Picnic day, etc.

The experience of helping others is so rewarding for me that I can’t find the words to describe how happy I feel when I do it.

When I first heard about  Home Care Heroes I wasn’t interested but when Jenna explained the idea behind it of connecting and supporting people, I was completely on board. Once again, I hesitated because my background as electrical engineer didn’t seem to fit in the home carers world. Jenna encouraged me and said that the most important requirement was the willingness to connect, listen and help others.

charlie-and-claudia

Charlie and Claudia

I currently work looking after Charlie, a beautiful girl with Cerebral Palsy.  Her mother is also an electrical engineer who also speaks Spanish.  She and her family are very special. They had taught me what unconditional love is, what a real challenge is and how to live every day being grateful for what we have. I enjoyed going with her to the park, to the NSW Art Gallery and our special “girly movies” sessions at home.

I feel very fortunate to be able to somehow help her and her family.

 

melida

— Melida Rodriguez

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