IDS Volunteer Samba

“As a new migrant to Australia volunteering was a way I could engage with the community. As a person with a disability, it was important to me that I supported an organisation that I felt was helping people like me”.

IDS welcomes the support of our volunteers, they help us with our goal of becoming a disability provider of choice. Providing support across a range of administrative and client support activities.

Despite Samba’s disability (he was born with polio and was unable to walk until he was 20 years old) he believes he is very fortunate. With four sisters and a younger brother, he was spoilt at home. However, he could not see much point in trying to get on as he believed his disability would always stop him progressing. It was a series of operations that not only changed Samba’s mobility it also changed his whole outlook on life.

Following his operation and rehabilitation, Samba took stock of his life. He realised there was very little financial advice for the ordinary person living in Hyderabad. This led him to study for a Bachelor of Commerce with the view of taking up a career in financial planning. Once qualified, he started up as an independent financial advisor with a difference. Working six months of the year for a wage and dedicating the other six months to providing financial advice and teaching other people with a disability to become financial planners. These services and were all provided pro bono.

“I have three reasons for volunteering – The first is, I wanted to show appreciation for the excellent care given when I was a patient. When I asked my surgeon how I could repay him, he simply said ‘By supporting other people with a disability’. The second is my desire to ensure the knowledge I had gained did not go to waste. The third was a desire to keep my brain active by relating to others and interacting in a non-social environment.

I was in a very fortunate position and had achieved a lot, and certainly a lot more than I ever thought I would. It was (and still is) very important to me to give back any help I can to others, no matter how great or small the impact.”

Samba has been living in Australia for 18 months, having met and married a Sri Lankan born Australian. He has made some very wise investments along the way and is financially independent. However, he continues to provide financial advice to a number of clients in India via the web.

“Being a volunteer at IDS has given me the opportunity to contribute to my community, meet wonderful people and learn new skills. After the end of my workday, I feel enriched and inspired to be a better person”.