BAMBI Volunteer Spotlight: Sara

Published on: May 16, 2022

As part of our 40th birthday celebrations, we’re exploring what’s at the heart of BAMBI—our people. This month we learn about Sara and how BAMBI has helped to shape her, both personally and professionally.

By Sara Chow

A little about me

I’m half Thai, half Cantonese and my husband is Taiwanese. We both moved to Bangkok when we were young, and have lived here ever since. We have one son, Jasper, who is turning five this year.
I became a mom much later than most of my friends; BAMBI helped and supported me a lot, especially during my first phase of motherhood. BAMBI connected me with other moms and babies of the same age, giving me and my son a safe and fun environment to explore and learn. So when BAMBI needed a Chinese coordinator to support the Chinese mothers in the community, I started volunteering. I felt that I could use my language skills to give back to this wonderful community that has given me so much. I made a number of good friends through BAMBI as well.

BAMBI Pop Up Loy Krathong Playgroup 2019

My professional background

BAMBI Halloween Party 2018

Having studied at Bangkok Patana School and at Assumption University of Thailand, where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Chinese, I have grown and thrived in an intercultural environment. As a multilingual Thai citizen with Chinese heritage and fluency in Cantonese, Mandarin, Thai, and English, I am organized, creative, good with people, and strong in administrative skills as well as liaison coordination.
Additionally, with my years of experience as an executive assistant to managing directors in both large corporations and start-up companies, plus running my own restaurant, I have been able to learn and gain a lot of hands-on experience and knowledge. I also like to use my language skills as a freelance translator and interpreter, not only for work but also to guide and show friends from around the world the amazing culture of Thailand.

My roles at BAMBI

Chinese Coordinator

May 2018 to present
In this role, I help and support the Chinese members of the BAMBI community and answer any questions they may have in their own language in person, via email and inbox messages. I also write articles about Chinese culture for the magazine, and help organize Chinese-themed events. I’m very happy to be sharing my Chinese heritage and culture with the rest of the BAMBI community.

Playgroup Leader

October 2019 to present
As a playgroup leader, I attend and run a weekly ‘free play’ playgroup to collect entrance donations and welcome new and current members. I also take photos for BAMBI’s social media and magazine. Occasionally, I will lead a circle time or short activity for the children attending. Working in this role is a great opportunity to meet other mothers and babies in my area, and make new friends. When I first started I was also able to use my administrative skills with the playgroup registrations, as back then we had to do everything manually using pen and paper!

Assistant Playgroup Coordinator

July 2020 to December 2021
In this role, I assisted the playgroup coordinator in managing the playgroups under my care to ensure they were manned and run to BAMBI’s standards. I managed the playgroup registrations, communicated with venues, playgroup leaders and attendees, and helped to recruit and train new playgroup leaders. As I gained more and more experience as a playgroup leader, I got to see firsthand the issues and problems that leaders encounter, as well as how to solve them. This knowledge gave me the understanding and skills needed to work with the playgroup coordinator, to assist her with managing all the playgroups in a more efficient way.

BAMBI Pop Up Playgroup March 2021


Playgroup Coordinator

December 2021 to present
In my current role, I manage the playgroups, the team of assistant coordinators, and playgroup leaders. I scout, set up and manage all the framework that goes into opening a new playgroup. I also coordinate between the playgroup team and other teams within BAMBI. This is also a voting position on the BAMBI committee, so I attend the monthly committee meeting to report any issues, and propose any suggestions for playgroup improvements.

I’ve only been in this role for four months, but I love it as I feel I’m doing a good job and I enjoy doing what I’m doing. I also get to use skills gained from my career in my pre-mom life such as project management, administrative skills, and getting things organized. I feel like I’m contributing and passing on knowledge to my team as well. I feel happy to answer questions and to help other volunteers learn more about managing BAMBI playgroups. One big challenge in this post is people management as we have a team of 20 active playgroup leaders. As with any large number of people, new challenges arise every week, and I have to work my way around these to ensure the smooth running of the playgroups

Skills developed

  • project management
  • problem solving skills
  • administrative skills
  • mastery of Typeform
  • human resource management

Memorable moments and achievements

To date, I’m very proud to have been part of the BAMBI re-opening after an extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel that BAMBI can bring a lot to the expat mom and babies community as we learn to live with COVID. 

This year is BAMBI’s 40th birthday and it is also my fourth year of volunteering with BAMBI in my fourth position. I don’t know how long I will stay with BAMBI, but the time I’ve spent here so far has been a very enjoyable and memorable experience.

Photos courtesy of the author.


The views expressed in the articles in this magazine are not necessarily those of BAMBI committee members and we assume no responsibility for them or their effects. BAMBI Magazine welcomes volunteer contributors to our magazine. Please contact editor@bambiweb.org.

 

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