It took time for Ramandeep Kaur to connect with people and build her confidence after
arriving from India to join husband Gurjeet in New Zealand in 2015.
But over the last few years she has grown in leaps and bounds.
Ramandeep has just come on board as the co-ordinator of community connector Mid Canterbury TimeBank.
Highly qualified, she hold a degree in law and MBA in international business from her former homeland, and has been involved locally with TimeBank for the last two years.
She has brushed up on car mechanic skills, played golf, made friendships and soaked up knowledge through her involvement.
She is now tasked with helping others connect with each other and with what is offered through TimeBank and the Learning Exchange programme.
Six years Ramandeep ago was a fresh-faced arrival from India and had moved to Taupo to be with her new husband Gurjeet Singh, who was working on a dairy farm.
“I was really homesick at the beginning.
“I returned home to finish my studies and came back with some trepidation.”
While her husband was out working on the farm, she was at home and isolated with a first baby, she said.
The couple moved to Ashburton with two children in 2018 for a new dairy farm job.
Joining Plunket gave Ramandeep access to more support and slowly she built up her confidence.
She volunteered to be the group’s administrator on Facebook.
After a visit to Community House, Ramandeep signed up to the Mid Canterbury Rural Drivers Licensing Scheme and began a journey that has given here independence.
Getting a driving licence was an important step for her, as it was for other female migrants, she says.
She has since joined Toastmasters to further boost her confidence and to extend her social circle, and is a licensed home-based educator for Barnardos.
Life is good these days, she says.
“I’m juggling work with child care and family life and now I have this new role with TimeBank.”
The hard working and busy mum is planning to do a Masters in law at Canterbury University and is currently doing interpreter exams.
Ramandeep is keen to meet all TimeBank members as well as anyone interested in finding out more about the TimeBank. She will be in the TimeBank office at Community House on March 5 and 12 (10am-2pm), also March 8 and 11 (1-4pm) and then from March 15 most week-day afternoons.