Introducing the Volunteers and Interns
September 5, 2013
Unfortunately, the issue of violence against women is “often difficult for people to speak about, so courageous people are needed to bring the issue to light and speak out about violence against women to enact change,” explains White Ribbon volunteer, Samantha Keene (22).
Samantha, along with Shannon Incledon (20), Harry Calverley (23) both of Wellington, and Clara Pau of Alexandra (23) are White Ribbon’s newest interns who are just a few of those courageous people that Samantha describes. Each intern knows that the 1 in 3 New Zealand women who experience violence in her lifetime is 1 in 3 too many, and are excited to be able to contribute to the White Ribbon Campaign.
Incldedon, a Wellington local and English and Criminology student at Victoria University, believes that inspiring others to be unaccepting of violence towards women is a good cause to get behind. With passion for and skill with the written word, Incldedon is keen to combine this with her desire to see change. She urges that, “even in such a small capacity it’s nice to be making that little bit of difference.”
Making a difference was also an important motivation for proud godmother and tutor at Victoria University, Samantha Keene, to get involved with White Ribbon. Beginning a Masters in Criminology, Keene has been “incredibly lucky” to receive a scholarship to carry out research in the field of violence against women. In light of receiving this scholarship, she desires to give back to her local community by volunteering for White Ribbon.
Harry Calverley of Wellington (23), who is currently in his final year at Victoria University studying towards a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours in Marketing (and previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies), was drawn to volunteering with White Ribbon because he believes it a valuable chance to apply the skills he has learned academically to a worthy organisation. As a male, he regards the values White Ribbon is built upon are powerful and important to stand behind. Earlier this year he journeyed to the summit of Mt Ruapehu, and now begins the journey as a White Ribbon volunteer with Shannon, Clara and Samantha.
Currently on a simultaneous journey of writing a Masters in Indigenous Development (He Kura Matanui) at the University of Otago, Pau insists that violence towards women is totally preventable, yet such a vicious act is often resorted to rather than compassion and tolerance. “Anything any of us can do to be able to help others say no to violence against women is going to be worthwhile,” she explains. “I am many things – a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mentor, the list goes on. But I know that being a White Ribbon volunteer will be one of the most important things that I am, because I believe it will help to enable others to also be all of the things that they want to be. A woman who does not have to live in fear, or a man who refuses to participate in or does not condone violence, for instance.”
The White Ribbon campaign, from 2013 and beyond, will put an emphasis on welcoming passionate and interested volunteers and interns like Harry, Clara, Samantha and Shannon. The purpose for recruiting and working with volunteers is two-fold. On the one hand, volunteering will up-skill recruits, teaching them skills for the workforce and providing invaluable experience. On the other, it allows volunteers to give back to their communities, and make a difference in such an important movement. Help is always needed and appreciated by White Ribbon, and the more people contributing, the closer we become to a violence-free Aotearoa.
Read more here if you want more information about volunteering with the White Ribbon Campaign. Volunteers will be added to the gallery below.