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Volunteer from New Delhi making a difference in Amherst

Kashika Jaggi volunteers at several organizations in Amherst, including the Canadian Red Cross.
Kashika Jaggi volunteers at several organizations in Amherst, including the Canadian Red Cross. - Dave Mathieson

AMHERST, N.S. – Kashika Jaggi is a long way from home, but doesn’t seem to mind.

“I don’t like the cold weather in the winter, but I love the people,” said Jaggi. “I’ve found a home away from home.”

Jaggi is from New Delhi, India and loves volunteering in Amherst.

“I want to meet new people and want to learn as much as I can, and the feeling of helping somebody else feels good,” said the 24-year-old.

Jaggi was recognized for her volunteer work with MADD during the 2019 Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony April 8 at the Credit Union Business Innovation Centre in Amherst.

“The town certainly recognize the work the volunteers do, which is great.”

Besides being the secretary at MADD Cumberland-Tantramar, Jaggi also volunteers at CANSA, the Multicultural Association of Cumberland, Crime Stoppers, and the Red Cross in Amherst, where she recently completed the Personal Disaster Assistance Supervisor course.

“At the training course for disaster management in Moncton I met people from all over New Brunswick. People told their stories and I learned a lot from them.”

Jaggi graduated from high school in New Delhi in 2013, and studied at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont., where she completed a four-year bachelor’s degree in forensic science, graduating in June of 2017.

While studying forensics, Kashika’s sister Disha, three years her junior, was studying towards a Bachelor of Arts and law degree in New Delhi but decided that becoming a lawyer might not be the path she wanted to pursue.

“My parents agreed it would be a good idea for my sister to study paralegal in Canada, and she heard back from NSCC.”

At first, they thought the paralegal course was at NSCC in Springhill, so her parents called the post office in Springhill to get information and ended up talking with Debbie Rolfe, lead hand at the post office in Springhill.

“She told us what the area was like, told us we needed transportation to get from point A to point B, and told us about housing,” said Jaggi.

Jaggi flew from Toronto and was picked up at the Moncton airport by the Rolfe’s. She lived with them for a week, and they helped her find a car to purchase a car, and helped her find an apartment.

“A week later my sister landed in Moncton, so we picked her up and moved into the apartment in Amherst.”

She can’t believe how helpful the Rolfe’s were.

“I never met these people, I didn’t know who they were, and they didn’t know who we were. We just spoke on the phone a couple of times and that’s all,” said Jaggi. “It was a blessing in disguise that we got to meet such great people. I may have done something good in my previous life to be get so lucky to meet these great people.”

Besides volunteer work, Jaggi also works full time at the Provincial Courthouse in Amherst.

“My work is great, and the people I work with really nice.”

Her ultimate goal is to become an RCMP officer.

“For that I have to be a permanent resident first, and once I get that maybe I can start working on my application to be an RCMP officer.”

She says it would be nice to be based in Amherst.

“That would be ideal because I already know the people here and I know the police officers because they come to court now and again,” said Jaggi.

Jaggi and her sister recently moved to Tidnish to live with a friend they met through volunteering.

“I come from a big, ginormous, hectic city, and Amherst is quite different,” said Jaggi.

“People are very nice and I love it here,” she added. “My plan was to settle my sister and move away after a couple of months but then I decided to stick around for a little bit. It’s turned out to be a great decision.”

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