Heritage and Connection: The CWCC Experience for the Younger Generation

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In the vibrant Chung Wah Community Care (CWCC) community hub, you can always see volunteers dressed in grey uniforms. They tirelessly participate in various roles at the hub, from assisting with activities to accompanying seniors. They volunteer, help others, and ask for nothing in return. The community hub is a friendly place for seniors, but what is rarely mentioned is that it is also a haven for the volunteers' souls.

Yifan, a volunteer in her twenties from China, came to Australia alone to study six months ago. Her parents were far away in her homeland, so she had almost no relatives or friends around her. However, after joining the ranks of CWCC volunteers, she finally found a foothold in Perth, this unfamiliar city.

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Four days a week, volunteer Yifan comes to the Balcatta Community Hub to interact with the seniors and participate in activities. Speaking of the time and experiences she has devoted to the hub, she sincerely believes that these contributions are far less than she has gained. At the hub, she participates in traditional festival celebrations, learns about historical and cultural knowledge, and discusses essential elements of Chinese culture with the seniors. The familiar hometown accent in her ears, the familiar Chinese food at lunch, and the Chinese customs that the seniors understand without much explanation—these valuable experiences are of great significance for young people far from their relatives. With CWCC being part of their life, young volunteers have expanded their social circles and found a sense of belonging in the Chinese cultural community.

The personal skills that young people value most can also be developed at CWCC. At the Balcatta Community Hub, Yifan has the opportunity to work with dozens of volunteers and staff every day, from organising activities for our senior clients. She continuously learns and grows in practice, improving her communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. At CWCC, the guidance young people receive cannot be provided by textbooks; the sense of achievement and value they gain cannot be achieved in schools.

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Besides Yifan, many young people have been attracted by the story of CWCC and have actively participated in community service. The younger generation's involvement has given CWCC more strength and resources to better provide care and support for the elderly and migrant communities.

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