“I came to NZ in 2018 for my higher studies in Business Management. Previously I was living in Dubai and Saudi for almost 15 years, so it was a big change for me to come NZ.

As you know, working in Saudi, it’s highly busy. I was holding a top retail management position for a retail giant in Gulf. And I did not have much time to spend with my family. NZ is the best place to settle. Work life balance, sustainability, greenery and smile faces all over. We don’t find that in most of other countries, including my own country Sri Lanka.

It took around 6 months for me to get settled down. That was the time I got connected to Volunteer Canterbury workshop conduct for new immigrants. It was a connecting path for me.

I want to make sure my time is used in a productive way for me as well as for the community. So, while I am doing studies, I got involved with community patrol under CPNZ for last two years.

It’s not easy, there are 10 exams that you must complete. After few patrols, I felt this is so important. There are times that the police could not respond to every incident they get. That is the time we get involved and help them to keep the community in safe hands.

Sometimes we must deal with bad behaviour; work daylight, night, in winter or rain. We do all our best to keep our community safe.
Also, I hope my lovely daughter and wife could join me soon, but this pandemic situation delayed. My daughter was without me for two years. It was very hard. She’s five years old. And the saddest part is when I can’t talk to her the days I go for patrol and due to time difference.

We should not be selfish. We gain best in NZ, so we must give something back to the community as well, a simple way to say, “Thank You”. That is very important. Because every person has got their own talent. The lovely Kiwi culture and community we mingle will be a great experience.”

– Sanjeewa

Charity registration number: CC57701