On this page, you'll meet some of the devoted and inspiring people who are making a difference and having a positive impact on the people around them and on the community.
October 2017 - Lise Viviane Rurangwa
Lise Viviane Rurangwa is a fourth-year student completing a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry with a minor in English as a second language. For her, community engagement means building skills to benefit the community while gaining abilities in a desired field.
Lise Viviane began volunteering at age 12, when she joined an association of Rwanda guides. Through this organization, she became involved in environmental causes and helped build facilities for at-risk individuals. She adopted a fundamental value at this young age, namely that of using her knowledge and skills to benefit others and to continuously improve the world for current and future generations.
Once she was in the Ottawa-Gatineau region, she continued to volunteer, serving as a receptionist with the Saint-Louis-Marie de Montfort parish and in supporting roles with the Salon du livre de l’Outaouais, the Jeux de la francophonie canadienne and the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2017, she has volunteered as a programming assistant at the Michaëlle Jean Centre for Global and Community Engagement (MJCGCE), an administrative assistant with the Canadian AIDS Society, as an organizer helping out at the Faculty of Engineering’s probability and statistics competition, and as a support staff member of Food Truck Social and Flea Market to benefit the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
Lise Viviane says that thanks to her volunteer experiences, she has honed her communication, organizational and research skills, and has become more independent. “In addition to expanding my network and exploring various career possibilities, volunteering has given me greater self-confidence,” she added.
She recommends that University of Ottawa students make the most of the services offered at the MJCGCE, since the Centre has numerous opportunities to work as a volunteer in various organizations.
We are proud of Lise Viviane Rurangwa’s dedication and passion for volunteering, and equally proud to select her as Volunteer of the Month for October 2017.
September 2017 - Sarah Twomey
Sarah Twomey is a fourth year nursing student who committed herself at a very young age to getting involved and helping others. In elementary school, she spearheaded environmental initiatives and in middle and high school, she was involved with her student council and philanthropic groups. Determined not only to give back to her local community, Sarah also volunteered internationally, building schools in Kenya, teaching English in Thailand and working as a nurse’s assistant in Nepal. She is currently volunteering with the Butterfly Children’s Hospices of China, a palliative care hospice, as the Canadian fundraising lead.
Through volunteering, Sarah was inspired to enrol in nursing school. And her commitment to volunteering has continued through her undergraduate studies. Over the past four years, she has volunteered with the University of Ottawa Dance Club, the Office of Campus Sustainability and the Undergraduate Nursing Student’s Association.
Sarah initially aimed to work either for a non-profit organization or in health care, but she has learned that she can do both simultaneously. For her, community engagement goes beyond simply getting involved — it is also becoming immersed in the organization you volunteer with. “The concept of community engagement varies with each organization, but in the end it’s all about contributing to a greater good and leaving an impact, no matter the size,” she says.
Having discovered a passion and gained valuable skills through volunteering, Sarah encourages her peers to get involved as well: “When I look back on all the time I’ve spent volunteering, there is not one minute that I regret. You meet people, you discover passions, and if you’re lucky, you find your purpose in life,” she says.
With her volunteering commitment, both here and abroad, Sarah is the perfect example of a global citizen. That’s why we’re pleased to announce that Sarah Twomey is our Volunteer of the Month for September 2017.