Rubi’s volunteer story started when she was invited to attend a Plunket conference in 2014.
At this conference a fellow Mum was in tears when guest speakers included visual studies of low statistics for Pacific people around health outcomes and she asked, "How can we make a difference when we are just a few?”
Rubi saw this as an opportunity to reach out to the Pacific community, to make a difference and to bridge the gap between Plunket’s clinical and community services.
She says, “Manukau Counties was not represented well enough, yet we are one of the largest and fastest growing areas in the Super City. I wanted to make a small difference in the community, by creating a place where Pacific whānau could come and access Plunket’s services.” And so she did.
Rubi co-ordinates the Tiny Jandals Playgroup on a Tuesday morning, an active play day where mums and their babies or toddlers get up and move with exercise or song and dance followed by morning tea; and on a Thursday she runs a Love & Learn session, which is based around creative arts and calendar events.
“I ask the parents what their children’s interests are and encourage them to participate and empower their children’s learning outcomes,” says Rubi.
Community is at the heart of everything she does for Plunket. “In South Auckland there is a lot of isolation and low income areas but Plunket offers a safe place where children can come to play learn and grow in a nurturing environment.”
Rubi sees volunteering as a way of giving back. “It’s a chain reaction, you start with the community, get people motivated and they will pay it forward”. She does all of this because she shares in Plunket’s mission for providing the best start for every child.
For Rubi, “Children are our center, and we revolve around them.”