Together with four colleagues from KLM's HR community, Mariana visited BOOST in Amsterdam, where volunteers help newcomers to learn the Dutch language, among other things. Mariana told us about her experience as a #corporatevolunteer
"It gave me a different view of the world. And that's going to help me a lot in my job." - Mariana Rellum, HR Officer Cabin Crew KLM
In a few sentences, what was the afternoon all about?
"BOOST takes a playful approach to its lessons. With language theatres, language cafés, but also targeted one-on-one sessions with newcomers. As a group, we took part in the language theatre, where we re-enacted situations from everyday life. So that the newcomers could hear the correct pronunciation. At the language café, I sat with someone who was practising sentences around certain themes."
What stood out to you?
"I thought it was a very well organised afternoon! So organised that the coordinators and other participants were also volunteers and took part in the whole thing. For example, they helped with the lunch and with overseeing the lessons."
"The participants were extremely positive and that made me quite humble. We have it very good here in the Netherlands and now you come into contact with people who have had to leave hearth and home."
Why did you choose this activity?
"From KLM we have a number of pillars that guide our volunteer activities: refugees, young people, education and animals. This way we could do something with our interests."
How do you experience the Deedmob platform?
"What attracted us is that Deedmob brings supply and demand together, but also offers varied choices and thus appeals to multiple people. In this way, you make the threshold for volunteering as low as possible and it is easier to apply your expertise."
How did you find volunteering from your job?
"Funnily enough, the newcomers had a lot of questions about this. They were surprised that at the time of the lessons we were paid from work to sit with them on their language. It is therefore very special that we are allowed to do this by our employee!"
What did the rest of your team think?
"Many said that they looked at BOOST with great admiration. One colleague said that the subject suddenly got a face. The well-organised afternoon gave us a glimpse into the kitchen, as it were."
"My colleagues also liked how all kinds of nationalities mixed together and helped each other. Think of people from Eritrea, Morocco and also Afghanistan. So very diverse."
Advocacy volunteers are indispensible. These four appreciation ideas help you retain them!