Shannon Markle | October 3, 2017
Volunteer Profile: Ajit Manku
‘I believe that by giving back to our community, will help to make Cambridge to become not only a better place to live, but also a safer one.’ ~ Ajit Manku
Volunteer Ajit Manku has lived life on the move. His travels began when, at five, he migrated from Punjab, India to Kenya. After high school it was on to London, England to work as an apprentice with an architectural firm. Ajit's journey continued once his apprenticeship in architectural technology was complete. He returned to Kenya, and later moved to Zambia to work with Ndola City Council. And again when, in 1974, when Ajit settled in Canada, residing first, in Manitoba, then later in Ontario.
It’s easy to tell that in all his travels Ajit has mastered the art of interacting with new people, and that he loves to learn from the perspectives and experiences of others. How? Well, Ajit is always the one listening intently, with a smile on his face. His deep interest in what others have to say is evident and makes him a favorite colleague for voluteers and staff alike. He resonates with approachability. With kindness.
Now, having retired from a career in teaching Ajit is free to devote himself to his wife Surinder, their three children and four grandchildren. And, of course, to his volunteering.
While Ajit first joined our volunteer team by offering his services as a print screening instructor, he has since taken on many other tasks, and tried other volunteer jobs. From building a display model for a community initiative, assisting art instructors with their classes and manning the door at our concerts to welcoming guests to gallery exhibition openings and Cineseries screenings, if we have need of assistance, Ajit is the first one to raise his hand, listen intently to what’s needed and help to get it done.
Idea Exchange is not the only local organization to benefit from Ajit’s assistance; in fact, Ajit has volunteered wherever he lived. In Kenya, he was a volunteer First Aid worker, in Zambia, as a charity worker. Currently, he’s heavily invested in a local Lions club group, and takes pride that it gives him an opportunity to serve who are less fortunate. When asked about his time with us Ajit shared that he feels that ‘Idea Exchange is a diversity organisation’ and that he values the opportunities to meet and learn people from different cultures and experiences and also give back to the community, and that he enjoys the superb and marvelous staff to work with. Thank you for the kind words, Ajit!
For making Cambridge a better, and kinder place, and for helping our students master the art of printmaking, we salute Ajit Manku in this Volunteer Profile.