“I moved to New Zealand in 2001. My parents chose Christchurch to live in as a city because I am disabled and chch city is flat, I’m able to live here quite easily. I like the people in Christchurch, so kind, always.
I used to live in a big country and big city, Tehran, Iran. Christchurch is just a small and friendly environment.
When I came here I was 16 years old, I joined the Hagley Community College to study English. Since English is my second language I had to study English so hard to be able to connect to the people. Then I continued to study and get my Diploma in English in 2014.
I decided I’d like to do volunteer work and then I found Imagination Station can accept people as volunteers. After four years at the Imagination Station I am able to have more confidence with the new people. Because I always like to help people, I love children. I love doing something involving children and volunteering helped me to develop working with kids. It’s a big step in my life. The other thing when you’re disabled you’ve got low self confidence sometimes because of not being able to go anywhere and everywhere to do things.
Kids sometimes ask me lots of questions like why I’m using my walking frame, why I’m so little, it’s so funny. I laugh about it when people ask me why I’m so little. I can’t answer why I’m using a walking frame properly, I just tell them “I’m disabled and need to use this for me to walk”. Some of the kids are so curious, especially little ones, I say, “would you like to sit on it and try it?”
If I’m not at the Imagination Station, I’m involved in a dance group called Jolt which is a mix of disabled and able bodied people dancing together. I joined the company in 2009. I do dance classes once a week and I do performances every two years. I also do riding for disabled. Volunteer work and this makes me quite busy, I like to take any chance that opens a door for me.” – Parisa