Inspired by the notion of ‘giving it back’, international student Rahim Zaidi has been volunteering for various Australian organisations to make a difference in the community.
A student by day and volunteer for the rest of his available time apart from work and studies, Rahim Zaidi arrived in Australia three years ago. Inspired by the culture of giving back to the community, Rahim started volunteer work and soon it became a part of his life.
“I was taught to be respectful to the elderly, helpful to the young ones and the community at home back in Pakistan. In Australia I saw this in the form of volunteering, people helping each other in a more formal way through organisations.
Rahim told SBS Urdu that his first stint was at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) where he is studying where he volunteered to help new students gel in the Australian environment.
- Rahim Zaidi volunteers for around 10 hours every week.
- He has also visited overseas to highlight the role of volunteering and spoken about challenges being faced by students during the coronavirus pandemic
- Rahim has so far volunteered for SES, Cricket Australia, St John Ambulance, Surf Life Saving NSW, City of Sydney, Vivid Sydney, NSW Police Force, OzHarvest Market, and Football NSW.
Last year, bushfires caused havoc in Australia taking precious lives and destroying hundreds of properties.
Rahim was one of the volunteers in the communication section, assisting people with urgent queries about the fires affecting their houses in rural areas.
“I received a call from a person who wanted to know if their house was ok as the family was out of town.
“When I checked the database, that area was severely affected by the bushfires. It took a while to comfort the family and share the details with them.”
Since the beginning of COVID-19, Rahim has helped several students by assisting them to get food and finding places for them to stay especially those hit hard financially.
Rahim has also volunteered with Ozharvest Market to provide free food to local charities.
The 21-year-old says that effective management is the key to finding sufficient time to help others.
“During weekdays from eight in the morning till afternoon, I am studying at the university. After that, I do part-time work and then return home to study further. In all these activities, I look out for available time-space and take the time for volunteering.
"My calendar is already planned for the next few months. All the hours are planned, what will I do, who am I meeting, where I have to go to etc."
With a passion for sports, Rahim has volunteered with Cricket Australia, Cricket NSW and Football NSW.
“Cricket is in the genes of anyone from Pakistan and Australia is "the place" for Cricket. Volunteering for the cricket community was a pleasure.
Volunteering for the NSW Police Force, the 21-year-old assisted in arranging a beach tournament with university students from Australia.
“It was a major success as the community engaged with university students and other stakeholders in the community.”
Rahim is now busy with Hockey NSW to find local talent interested in the field sport.
Listen to the full interview of Rahim Zaidi by clicking the speaker button on the main image.