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Posted By: Jolanta C.
#Cambodia,#Community Aid,#Education
While I loved teaching it proved challenging at times because of the language barrier. The books and materials were not in English and I had to work with 8 to 25 children everyday. The children were so sweet and appreciative that no matter how hard or difficult a day was I couldn’t help, but smile and think of their darling faces.
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Posted By: Delia B.
#Cambodia,#Community Aid,#Education
Overall, one cannot but be impressed and humbled by the whole experience and you will come away (with difficulty and a heavy heart because of the love and lessons those children with so very little have taught you in such a short time) inspired to take back home some of those simple “rules” and customs of teaching, so often lost or forgotten in our modern obsession for league tables and political correctness.
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Posted By: Megan
#Cambodia,#Community Aid,#Education
Any amount of time spent helping these kids is great of course, but the longer you stay the more meaningful and purposeful your efforts become. Most volunteers were very sad to leave and wanted to stay longer, so I would advise to plan for a longer stay if you can.
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Posted By: Kelsey M.
#Costa Rica,#Education,#Community Aid
The Costa Rica volunteer experience was nothing like I expected, and I had an amazing time. I met friends and worked with people
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Posted By: Bailey
#Costa Rica,#Education,#Community Aid
When my plane landed in San José, I was as nervous as I was excited. It was my first time traveling on my own, and I had no idea what to expect fro the. However, after five minutes of talking to the driver from the Teaching and Social Work program in San José, an incredibly friendly man full of stories about his city and himself, I forgot to be nervous. My host family matched his friendliness; my host mother was always willing to work with my level of Spanish...
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Posted By: Emily M.
#CostaRica,#Education
The second place that I volunteered was at the Escuela Granadilla Norte. At this school, I volunteered as aid in a kindergarten classroom. I felt incredibly welcome and at home as I volunteered at the school. The teachers there were very sweet and willing to speak slowly to me in Spanish to help me understand things. I learned a lot about the culture and language in Costa Rica from the teachers at the school as I helped out in the classroom.
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Posted By: Breana
#Costa Rica,#Education,#Community Aid
There were people from all over the world. We had an orientation, took an oral exam and then were assigned our class.The classes had 4-5 people in them for a better learning experience. In addition, the school offered dance class, cooking class, and extra conversation classes.
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Posted By: Kendall P.
#Fiji,#Education
This summer I spent six weeks volunteering in Fiji teaching the students of Dawasamu Primary School. My responsibilities included improving literacy and numeracy comprehension as well as providing lessons in P.E., music, and art. I’ve never had any experience teaching, but my time spent in Dawasamu Primary School made me open my eyes to the importance of education-- and how taken for granted it is back in my own country.
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Posted By: Aine D.
#South Africa,#Education
During my time at project I made lifelong new friendships with other volunteers, shared so much laughter with the amazing kids who we took care of, and learned A LOT about the diverse culture and life in Cape Town, South Africa.
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Posted By: Simone L.
#India,#Education,#Community Aid
A volunteer who taught at the other school came back one day saying that she this was the happiest she felt this year. I never thought about it before she said anything, but as soon as her words were spoken I knew it was true. It truly is a magical experience.
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Posted By: Pablo R.
#India,#Education
Our way of living in the West differs drastically from the way people live in India. As volunteers we saw incredible things we would have never imagined during our stay, such as how people really live in the slums. This was thanks to coming as a volunteer rather than as a tourist, which allowed us to immerse ourselves into the culture in a special way. We were able to see this unbelievably chaotic borough from the inside (even the inside of the houses!) thanks to the children (students from the school) who guided us through.
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Posted By: Bridgette
#Indonesia,#Education,#CommunityAid
I taught healthcare at a school approximately 40 minutes away. The schools were small and minimal and ran by the coordinators and the volunteers. The students were always there and ready to learn before the volunteers arrived. Their English was bad so we had to translate almost everything that we taught but the students remembered the material very well.
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Posted By: Dessa
#Indonesia,#Education,#Community Aid
The final week consisted of teaching. We volunteers were paired up and sent to classes from various schools around Ubud. The teaching days were fun, exciting, tough, confusing at times, but incredibly rewarding for me. As an ESL teacher, I was able to try different approaches of teaching towards non-English speakers. The children love you from the minute they see you, and they are always trying to show it! I will say that teaching was my favorite part of the whole trip.
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Posted By: Sarah
#Indonesia,#Education,#Community Aid
The look on my students\' faces when they got the hang of a new English word was priceless. While the sights and sounds of Bali are intoxicating, the real treat is rolling up your sleeves and doing some good in the world. This project has a real positive impact – namely, giving kids a leg up in getting a job later in Indonesia\'s growing tourism industry. If they can speak English, it will be easier for them to make money for themselves. On my last day, I told my students to study hard so that some day I might come back and speak to them in English fluently.
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Posted By: Gillian
#Indonesia,#Education,#Community Aid
The project I chose to do was teaching English, and me and my partner were assigned 6th grade (10-11 year olds). This proved to be more challenging than I had expected, and the kids made us work hard to gain their attention and trust. Teaching on your own with so little structure taught me patience, the value of effort, and how important it is to work with what you have. It was incredible to see the children grow in their knowledge after just a few short weeks.
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Posted By: Laurence
#Indonesia,#Education,#Community Aid
It was an amazing week in which we had the chance to meet people from all around the world, plus we were immersing ourselves in a totally new different culture. The purpose of this week was to help us understand and learn about the Balinese culture in preparation to the volunteer project. The Bahasa language and cultural classes were very helpful for the teaching English project.
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Posted By: Charlotte
#Indonesia,#Education,#Community Aid
This first week was an introduction week which was a great way to meet new people and familiarize oneself with the surroundings that I would be living in for a month. During this week we visited the Monkey forest, had a tour around Ubud, went to some rice fields, learnt some Balinese language and cooking and went to the Holy Water temple. It was a jam packed first week but a great way to really embrace the Balinese lifestyle. We also went and watched a Balinese dance show and had a Balinese offering and painting class. All of which contributed to a great first week.
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Posted By: Luana
#Indonesia,#Education,#Community Aid
Volunteering in Indonesia was more than a simple experience, it was an opportunity I had to challenge myself as I have never done before. I have met some of the most interesting and passionate people on the planet and shared with them my life, my interests, my pictures and my dreams. Together we had the unique opportunity to discover the country, its people and its amazing environment from the privileged viewpoint of a volunteer.
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Posted By: Ullamaija
#Israel,#Education,#Humanitarian Aid,#Community Aid
I’ll always remember Miriam, a severely disabled pupil, whom I was primarily supposed to be with! During my last visit in the school, when Miriam’s father came to take her home, Miriam took my hand and waved goodbye. Usually she just left without any gesture.
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Posted By: Melanie
#Nepal,#Education
In addition to the teaching, I got to work at an orphanage in Kathmandu. I cannot explain the affect of those astoundingly beautiful children. Just to hold a child in need of a hug. To feel a hand slip so readily into yours simply to feel love and affection freely given. To feel special to someone. It bursts your heart. Their delight in each other and what little they have is truly inspiring and I will never forget them.
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Posted By: Samuel
#Nepal,#Education
A truly memorable experience was refereeing two days of soccer. The monks truly love the sport and had a 2 day schoolhouse tournament, which I was requested to referee. The youngest monks were the spectators and cheerleaders, beating plastic bottles and plastic drums, cheering their houses on.They played on a small pitch dug out of the side of (literally) a mountain, the ground was dirt and the goals made out of metal poles. In two hours of soccer, I think I only had to give a single foul, which to me exemplifies the spirit of comradeship and gregarious nature of these incredible people.
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Posted By: Blair
#Nepal,#Education,#CommunityAid
Teaching women through the Women’s Empowerment program, I was able to deeply connect with the Nepali women I worked with, even considering the huge language barrier between us. It was a joy and honor to teach them. I We spent the lessons laughing and actively interacting with each other, ensuring that they were learning as much as possible. It was very hard to leave them after three weeks. In such a short time, they embraced me into their world.
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Posted By: Meagan
#Philippines,#Education
Volunteering in one of the local daycare centers was quite the experience as I was able to see firsthand how important it is to learn English at such an early age, especially in a poverty stricken country, such as the Philippines. I didn’t spend my time simply teaching English, however, I also taught simple things such as shapes, colors, songs, using manners, and how to show respect.
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Posted By: Cierra
#South Africa,#Education,#CommunityAid
I feel that I gained as much as the children did from my experience that month. I really learned a lot of life lessons from the children and people of the town. One thing that I really enjoyed was getting to teach them new things and see their faces light up with their new found knowledge. I even got to learn a little of the Xhosa language throughout my stay from the children who were not afraid to share. I really enjoyed watching the children progress with the new things that I had taught them throughout my stay. All in all it was a surreal experience that I hope to soon experience again.
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Posted By: Sean
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education,#Development
...I was amazed how quickly the kids gravitated toward us. Even the new guy was mobbed by hugs upon arrival and frequently throughout the day. The love from these kids is simply amazing. This in and of itself was worth the trip. These kids, who have so very little, adore the “teachers”. Most everyone is called “teacher” until you hang around for a few days then they might start with “Teacher Sean.” So, so cool!
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Posted By: Trisha
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Development,#Education
The most memorable moment of my whole time was seeing the children for the first time. They were waiting at the fence of the school, HUGE smiles on their faces, cheering and screaming for all of us. I could feel their love just by looking at their faces.
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Posted By: Hope
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education
Although living conditions were unimaginable, the children greeted us with endless smiles and laughter. They were so happy and appreciative of our attention and interactions. I spent the next 4 weeks at Skandaalkamp helping improve the education and lives of the beautiful children of Skandaalkamp.
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Posted By: Marguerite
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education,#Humanitarian Aid
I sort of became the head teacher there quickly. And the kids listen to me and trust me – and I learned a little Xhosa (pronounced kosa) too. I’m such a mess right now because I love them and I feel awful leaving them. In a perfect world I would stay and make sure I saw them all graduate from high school.
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Posted By: Ula
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education,#Humanitarian Aid
I couldn’t imagine how those township kids’ childhood would be until I participated in their life. We had a totally different life with them. Finally I realized how happy and lucky I am and I’ve never felt regret to join this volunteer experience. I could deeply felt the happiness during my trip and I felt that it’s more blessed to give than to receive. I did learn a lot and also received a lot during the volunteering trip.
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Posted By: Ekaterina
#South Africa,#Education
I have never felt as upset as I felt leaving Cape Town, the city where I spent the 16 best days of my life. I don’t exaggerate. At all.Sometimes we just sat at the playground and hug each other. It seems they don’t have enough attention and care and it upset me so much. They don’t need MP3-players, bicycles and PlayStations – they just need to feel they are loved and cared about. And a football, of course!
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Posted By: Andrea
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education,#Humanitarian Aid
The children I worked with were between five and six years old and were great. Even though they lived in impoverished homes and sometimes did not even have a real house, they were always smiling and laughing, just like children from back home. Some days were really tough, but I would see these eyes looking back at me and I knew I had to stay and help them.
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Posted By: Katja
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education
One Saturday the manager of this project, Nikki, had her birthday. Instead of celebrating it herself she threw a party for the kids with games, jump house, scooters, facepaint, birthday cake, hot dogs etc…She dedicated her birthday to the kids because she thinks that every child deserves a birthday party, but she can’t throw one for each child so her birthday is the celebration of all the kids birthdays together – what a great, inspiring idea! The kids had a blast and so did we.
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Posted By: Madison
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education,#Humanitarian Aid
The school we taught at was called Wings of Hope. We were with these kids for two weeks and I can’t even describe how much I miss them! They were the sweetest and most caring children I’ve ever met. I’m so happy that I took advantage of this opportunity to volunteer in South Africa because it really helped me grow. I have made friends from all over the world, saw beautiful sights, and got to make my mark within their community. I cannot wait to go on another volunteer trip with the help of GoEco!
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Posted By: Jennifer
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education,#Humanitarian Aid
Just to offer a few hugs, kisses and a little bit of attention made all the difference in the world to these kids and it warmed my heart. At the conclusion of my trip, the principal of the pre-school I was working in, Babes Educare, complimented my attitude while working in the classroom and recognized my admiration for the students.
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Posted By: Natalie
#South Africa,#Humanitarian Aid,#Education,#Community Aid
My time with the project focused more on rebuilding this site and supporting the community in their new home of Wolwe-rivier, Cape Town. We rebuilt the playground, developed a sustainable vegetable garden, and prepared the grounds for school to resume. Quite often the children would grab shovels or rakes and help us with this project!
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Posted By: David
#South Africa,#CommunityAid,#Education
Our afternoons consisted of 1.5 hours of personal surf time including instruction from an awesome surf instructor if you needed it. Once we were done with our surf session, 13-15 year old students would arrive and we would spend another 1.5 hours with them doing exercises and playing games on the beach to warm up. We then hoped in the water and assisted them with their surfing. You did not have to be a professional instructor, but rather needed to stay out in the water with them to make sure they stayed safe, and give them the occasional power boost through the water!
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Posted By: Abby
#South Africa,#Community Aid, #Education,#Humanitarian Aid
Since I was on the surf club, in the evenings after coming back from Zusakhe, I joined the other surf club volunteers and helped give surf, skate and swim lessons to kids from Dunoon who were around 8-14 years old. Often, this was time for us to try to get closer to the kids and learn about their life stories. On days when the weather was too bad for surf club activities, we played board games and even had a pizza cook-off between different teams.
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Posted By: Zara
#Spain,#Education,#Development
It was a trip I don’t regret taking! It’s the best if it’s your first time travelling alone, because there is 24 hour support and the mentors are so lovely and will pick up the phone whenever you need to speak to them. It was an amazing experience helping these kids and having fun with them, and also having a taste of amazing Spanish culture and living independently with roommates. It’s definitely something I would recommend for students in summer or holiday breaks.
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Posted By: Jen H.
#Tanzania,#Community Aid,#Education
I was lucky enough to be teaching the Masai, who were adults in the local tribe trying to learn to read and write Swahili and speak small bits of English which would help in the tourist industry. Many of them worked as guards or for a local hotel which meant it was good to know some English as well as Swahili. They were all lovely, and were always excited and willing to learn; it was amazing seeing how happy they were after we would tell them they had got something right.
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Posted By: Oriya
#Tanzania,#Communtiy Aid, #Education
The most important thing is that we did all these amazing things with a bunch of extraordinary people from all around the world and had unlimited support from the amazing staff...!
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Posted By: Carmen
#Thailand,#Community Aid,#Education
And of course, my favorite project, teaching English. You don’t need any experience at all because it is very basic stuff – such as going through the alphabet, counting, pointing at objects and saying the words in English. They mostly just appreciate you being there. Spending time with them was amazing and something which I will never forget and always cherish!
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Posted By: Navreet
#Thailand,#Community Aid,#Education
During my stay, I volunteered at an orphanage to work on light construction projects. Our main objective was to help maintain and fix the orphanage infrastructure and environment so that the children could benefit from a better learning atmosphere and have better living accommodations. I exchanged warm hugs and laughter with the charming little souls at the orphanage; they left me a lifetime full of cherished memories.
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Posted By: Kyle
#Thailand,#Community Aid,#Education
I was speaking to a kid with the name ‘ฝัน’ which literally translates to ‘Dream’. He is seventeen years old, has one brother, two loving parents, and two dogs, just like me. One of the English teachers helped me ask him the question, “what do you want to do with your life,” his response, ” I want to be happy, I want to help make a change in the world.” He has a dream, he has the light, he is human, he realizes that the world is a big place with not just him living in it.
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Posted By: Evan
#Thailand,#Community Aid,#Education
We started off touring around the school, where we were greeted by smiling children who couldn’t stop waving at us. Then it was off to the classroom where we put together our own lesson plans (none were given to us). We taught about 2-4 classes a day, depending on the day. Throughout the 10 days of teaching, we played games with the students, taught them songs, such as Twinkle Twinkle or Hokie Pokie, and had conversations about our lives here and in America.
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Posted By: Olivia
#Thailand,#Community Aid,#Education
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.
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Posted By: Naomi
#Thailand,#Communtiy Aid,#Education
Throughout the program GoEco and the local Thai team ensured their volunteers fun by implementing social gatherings throughout the week. I enjoyed this because it kept everyone occupied when we weren’t volunteering and it was a great way to meet new people. This volunteering experience is like no other because you gain a first-hand perspective on Thai culture that you wouldn’t be able to absorb through a text book. Overall, this experience has been unforgettable and I am very grateful.
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Posted By: Anna
#Vietnam,#Community Aid,#Education
The Ho Chi Minh Community Involvement placement starts off with four days of Culture Week, a fantastic opportunity to get to know the other volunteers we would be living with for the next three weeks. This involved language and culture classes, a tour of the city and its major historical sites, cooking class and Vietnamese towel folding class (the last two of which caused a LOT of laughter!). Then we all started work.
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Posted By: Sydney
#Zimbabwe,#Education,#Community Aid
As a volunteer working on the community project I got to experience many different activities such as: Teaching the fourth grade at Monde Primary School, playing and helping meet the needs of the children living at Rose of Charity orphange, teaching and playing with the children at a local Pre-School, gardening at the old peoples home and a rural garden, and even occasionally spending an afternoon walking with lions!
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Posted By: Alexandra O.
#India,#Education,#Community Aid
The melting pot of different perspectives and personalities that came with so many people from different places being together not only kept my stay in Goa interesting, but it was one of my favorite aspects of my entire trip. I now have friends in eight countries! 
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Posted By: Michelle F.
#South Africa, #Education, #Community Aid
This experience helped me see that I want to relocate to Cape Town, South Africa permanently to teach primary school. I can\'t wait to go back one day to work with the school again because this was the most amazing experience of my life. 
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Posted By: Monica F.
#India,#Education,#Community Aid
I would encourage anyone to work with this program and I am forever thankful I made this decision. It was definitely a trip of a lifetime. 
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Posted By: Tatiana F.
#Fiji,#Education
It was an incredible experience that I highly recommend for all the people that want to travel, enjoy the landscape in an amazing place and help people who are really in need. 
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Posted By: Yuan L.
#Nepal,#Education,#CommunityAid
Children there love singing and dancing, they performed traditional Hindus dance before we left. I can feel the passion of the children, from their eyes and their words. One week is too short for the teaching and I hope more and more volunteers can come and help these children.
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Posted By: Neal G.
#India,#Education,#CommunityAid
This Teaching and Community Work in Goa project was a great experience that has provided me with lifelong memories.
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Posted By: Michelle
#South Africa,#Community Aid,#Education
The other volunteers that were on the trip were some of the most incredible people I have met. To hear their stories and learn about where they came from was extremely interesting. To see the interest to come help in South Africa from all over the world was heart warming and inspiring.
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Posted By: Taylor A.
#Thailand,#Community Aid,#Education
Our organized activities were a great way to relax and have fun with everyone in the program but my favorite memories were at the orphanage, playing with the kids at the end of each day, or handing out ice cream after lunch...I cannot wait to not only return for more volunteering in Thailand, but to explore other opportunities provided by GoEco.
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Posted By: Sophie
#Thailand,#Community Aid,#Education
I know the friends I made will be in my life for a long time! Even though I was only in Thailand for a short period of time, I know I helped make a difference in the lives of the children I met.
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Posted By: Alexa
#Costa Rica,#Community Aid,#Education,#Wildlife,#Conservation
When I visited there were 12 kids there and we played all morning on the playground, with sidewalk chalk, doing puzzles, etc. I think I had just as much fun playing as the kids did.
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Posted By: Isaura R.
#Brazil,#Education,#Community Aid
I don\'t think I could have had a better experience volunteer-wise!
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