Rhun Dafydd shares his journey to becoming a trustee and encourages young people to volunteer through the medium of Welsh.
I’m Rhun Wmffre Dafydd and I’m 25 years old. I come from Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, originally but I’m now living in Cardiff. I sit on the management board of ‘Menter Bro Morgannwg’ (Welsh language agency) and decided to join the board because I wanted to give something back to my area.
I was fortunate enough to be raised in a Welsh home, but during my time at school, there were very few opportunities for my fellow pupils to communicate in Welsh outside of the classroom.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SPEAK WELSH
The language agency was small at the time, but it gave me opportunities to socialise in Welsh, especially in partnerships with the Urdd opportunities.
After returning from University, I could see further growth in the county’s education, and I wanted to increase the opportunities to use the language without having to travel into the city.
I believe the role of ‘Menter Iaith’ is essential for the regeneration of Welsh in the area, by offering opportunities in Welsh, whether socially or in the workplace.
I help ‘Cymdeithas y Cymod’ with their communication work, an organisation which attempts to raise the profile of pacifism in Wales and highlight world-wide injustice through the medium of Welsh.
The work with Cymod is integral to my beliefs as a citizen of Wales and provides an opportunity for me to share reconciliation with my fellow man.
I also help at my rugby club, ‘Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd’ on the communication and project side. This provides an opportunity for me to give back to a sport and community which have offered so much to me.
REGENERATING THE LANGUAGE
Speaking Welsh comes naturally to me, but I believe that speaking Welsh in any voluntary role is the right of anyone who wants to speak it or who feels more comfortable speaking it.
I also notice that volunteering work is a way of raising awareness of the Welsh language within communities and of promoting it as a completely natural language to speak in all aspects of life.
I think people worry that a trustee post places a lot of pressure on an individual, but it really doesn’t, not by a long shot. It’s an opportunity to make a difference to a subject close to your heart.
If volunteers want to speak Welsh in the future, I suggest that they demand their right to speak the language. The language belongs to everyone in Wales and should be used at every available opportunity and on any platform.
It’s important that we make it as easy as possible for everyone to speak Welsh, and more importantly, that organisations enable people to speak Welsh when volunteering.
This is even more relevant for young people from non-Welsh backgrounds, who have since left Welsh medium education and are looking for opportunities to continue to speak Welsh.
Want to hear more stories from Welsh speaking volunteers? Find out how volunteering through the medium of Welsh spelled adventure for student volunteer Mared.