Elizabeth's story

Advice and Advocacy by Elizabeth Sibanda

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Coventry Refugee Centre is a unique place that boasts a warm and friendly environment where dedicated people come together with the purpose of seeing lives transformed. My initial contact with the Centre spans back to April 2008 when I heard a member of staff waxing lyrical about how wonderful a place it was to be involved with.

I got myself signed up and started out as a Receptionist and after five months of service, I had to relinquish my duties as I was off to study for a year. On completion of my studies, I came back to Coventry with a deeper hunger for impacting the community and immediately knew I had to contact the centre.

Having been back since September 2009, I can confidently say that I made a wise decision! I continued from where I left off in Reception and after two months I felt I needed a new challenge and trained to work with the Advice & Advocacy Team. I thoroughly enjoyed working on the team and in March 2010, I was recommended onto the Migrant Support Services Team which was seriously under staffed. I have continued with the team since then and I have found it challenging at times but very rewarding.

I feel I am fulfilling my purpose in my role as a caseworker as I help and empower others. I wake up everyday looking forward to my work at the Centre and I am willing to go the extra mile for my clients to see their joy fulfilled.

Working as an individual and as part of a team has taught me not to be judgmental but loving and gracious towards others. Working with people from different parts of the world has challenged my thinking and has enlarged my heart to be more accommodating of other cultures.

Volunteering has been a big learning curve for me that has tremendously enhanced my life. I have acquired such a wealth of knowledge through various discussions with clients and volunteers alike. I can simply say “The Centre is a place for lifelong learning”.

Coventry Refugee Centre is attractive to open minded people with excellent people skills. It is unique in the way it allows people of diverse cultures to feel liberated to function effectively without a sense of fear and intimidation.