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Fiji Time: 9:26 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Born to serve

Torika Tokalau
Saturday, December 07, 2013

IT takes passion and a lot of patience to be a good volunteer.

This was the view of the 2013 National Volunteer of the Year recipient Filimone Namana.

The 27-year-old received his award on Thursday night at the International Volunteer Awards at Holiday Inn, recognised for his two-year work with the Tamavua Rehabilitation and Medicine Hospital.

"I only decided to volunteer because there weren't any jobs available," Mr Namana said.

"I graduated from Fiji Nursing School in 2011 and I didn't want to waste my time sitting at home waiting for a job so I decided to take a step into volunteerism and gain as much experience as I could."

His volunteer work involves travelling to rural communities and settlements to offer rehabilitation assistant to those people who cannot access these services at the major hospitals.

"I love helping people, seeing their faces light up when they see us walk towards them makes what I do so worth it."

Mr Namana said in his two year volunteer work, he received several job offers but turned them down because he believed volunteering was what he was called to do.

"You have to be passionate and have a lot of patience to get into volunteerism.

"This area of service is for the people, you have to be selfless and have a heart of helping people.

"It is rewarding, maybe not in monetary terms but the smiles, the appreciation and the lives that you touch and help is, I believe, the most valuable reward one can get."

Other volunteers to be recognised in the awards were Mohammed Khan for Junior Volunteer, Anita Sundar for Youth Plus Volunteer and Andrea Herwig for International Volunteer Award.