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Volunteering in Thailand – Growing Special Bonds

I spent a full week volunteering at the Learn, Volunteer and Travel project. I volunteered in Sing Buri teaching English in local schools, where I taught from grades 1 to 6 and taught 4 classes a day. This program is a great insight into the Thai culture and creates a very important awareness about what life is like in the very rural parts of Thailand. This experience was unique and I felt I was able to bring my individuality into the program and use different ways of teaching to be able to build a more personal relationship with the kids.

Each day I would wake up excited and ready to teach. There was something about the way that the kids looked up to you and how happy they would be to have us teach them for an hour a day. This made the program so worthwhile and made our job, as the teachers, easy, fun and exhilarating knowing that we were making such a difference to the kids. Every night I planned on what we would teach the next day.

The kids spoke very basic English, although some grades much more advanced than others. For grades 1 to 3, I was able to teach them colours, shapes, numbers, animals, fruits and often played a couple games of hangman with them. From grades 4 to 6 I taught them sentences about occupations and their dream jobs. I also taught them body parts, emotions and family members. I tried to make our classes as enjoyable as possible for the kids; I tried to put a fun spin of each of the things we were learning. Whether that be playing games in between, using volunteers from the class to teach their classmates or singing songs and teaching them dances.

I did not realize that I would make such special bonds with the kids. It was amazing to see how curious, interested and eager the kids were to learn and how much they took a shine to each one of the volunteers. I often found it overwhelming to see how limited their school was with resources, nevertheless the kids were full of life and some of the happiest kids I’ve ever met. They definitely made a huge impact on me and it was an incredible experience and one I will treasure forever.

When it came to saying goodbye, it was very hard as teaching there for a week, you grow special bonds and really become close to the kids and get to know them as individuals.