Follyvi Simon

A photo of Follyvi volunteering at a SOSAD family fun day

Follyvi began his volunteer journey when he arrived in Ireland in January 2020. He began volunteering in Christ Church in Dublin unfortunately though the Pandemic hit soon after starting and everything stopped.

Follyvi’s motivation to volunteer was to connect with his community. “I feel so alone as an asylum seeker.” Follyvi found volunteering a fantastic way to meet people and practice speaking English. “When I started volunteering is when I got to meet people and not feel alone.”

Follyvi would recommend volunteering as a wonderful way to integrate into the community. When I spoke to him about what he gets from volunteering he told me “Today I am not alone, all of the volunteers are my family.” Follyvi spoke about the fact that when he had to leave his country to seek asylum he had to separate from his wife and 3 boys. He spoke about the impact that this has had on him and how difficult it has been not being able to see them. Follyvi found support in his local community through volunteering. “The Community is my family.”

Follyvi favourite moment throughout his volunteer experience was having the opportunity to volunteer at the come and try athletics day for children with disabilities. Follyvi and a group of Louth Community Volunteers helped on the day. Follyvi really enjoyed watching all the young people compete and receiving their medals at the end of the day and even had the opportunity to jump up on the winners podium himself. Another stand out moment for Follyvi was getting to volunteer with the church. “I fell in love with the church again. I am part of the church community, and they pray for me and relax my mind.

Follyvi has found Louth Volunteer Centre very helpful on his volunteer journey. “They have helped me to get to know the Louth Community. They have supported me to attend different volunteer roles like the athletics day and the Drogheda summer 5k. I was standing beside a Guard at the race, this is something I have never done before, you couldn’t do that in my country. We were helping to direct traffic and the Guard even took a picture with me. My brain was full of joy when I got home.”

“I want to stay in Dundalk and become a Dundalk man. I feel like I have a lot to share.”

Follyvi would recommend Louth Volunteer Centre to people looking to get involved in the community and looking to get involved in volunteering. “I tell people how nice it is to be part of the community and how nice it is to get to know people and to get to know your area.” “The community can also help you; they can direct you towards education and training opportunities.”