About International Humanity Foundation

Half of IHF's mission is to educate the poor and the other half is to educate the world about the poor. Our vision is to strive for a world of leaders and citizens who have interacted with, and are truly knowledgeable about the world's poor. We believe in a "pass it on" philosophy where education is free and available for all who seek it. Those of us who have received a free education pass it on by helping others less fortunate by teaching, interacting and learning. With just a few hours a week, our volunteers, children and sponsors are changing the world we live in. IHF is a non-religious, non-political, non-profit organization that strongly believes in an equal opportunity for all and in preserving the cultures, traditions and beliefs of the marginalized communities it works in.

Fundraising Fun

by Melody, Work-Study Volunteer, IHF Thailand

It is officially hot here in Chiang Rai. The kind of hot that makes everyone lethargic and causes us to go through our water supply much quicker. Fortunately the nights have been really pleasant; unfortunately the mosquitoes have not been. I think I counted 15 bites on my legs alone!

The center is buzzing with excitement from the upcoming school break for the children. Some of the children are already done with their exams and will be visiting their villages soon, but many of them will stay at the center. Having the children around all day, every day, creates a lot more work for volunteers, especially in the cleaning department (I still have no idea what they do that makes the bathroom so dirty), but it is also a lot more fun. With this weather, trips to the nearby swimming pool definitely need to be planned!

The big news here is the success of our fundraising event! We planned a trivia night at a local restaurant just three weeks before it took place and worked very hard to market the event. Nobody likes like to approach people on the street but we were determined to do our best, so we handed out flyers and put them up in popular areas. The results were good, especially since we weren’t sure what to expect. About 20 people showed up to take part in our trivia and they all had a great time. The food at Barry’s World Class Hamburger was good and the trivia questions were tough. The volunteers had a blast running the event and George did a great job as MC. All in all, we took in 1830 baht and we hope to do even better next time!

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IHF Extends a Literary Hand

by Rob, Co-Director, IHF Medan

As part of our recent drive to reach out to local universities and schools, I went this week to IAIN in order to meet some students and spread the word about IHF Medan. Amongst other things, we got chatting about literature and creative writing, an artistic outlet that seems to garner quite a bit of interest in older student communities here in Medan. After a bit of encouragement, several of the students were even willing to show me some examples of their work. Riding on their enthusiasm, we have decided to hold a bi-weekly workshop to discuss their own writing as well as literature in general.

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This is an example of the kind of outreach work that IHF is capable of doing – as well as our usual evening classes here at the centre, for no extra cost, co-directors and volunteers are able to communicate with and study alongside members of the local community who lie further afield than the classrooms of the centre. After a few meetings at their campus, we are hoping to get some of these university students to come and talk to our own, younger kids about their literary work, in an attempt to foster some artistic interest and creativity amongst the younger years.

Watch this space.

Bali Bracelets, Renovations and more! at IHF Bali

By Josie, Voluntourist, IHF Bali

As time goes by, we have come Bali center about two weeks. Last week we painted the center. It was a very interesting project. From that project,  some of us (me included) we learned  a lot, since some of us had never painted before we came here. Lucky that Gregor, our Co-Director, was pretty professional and helped us all finish a project without any problem! Now the Bali center feels even more like a sweet home.

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And this week we also had a big project, which was to teach the children how to make bracelets in the various styles that we ourselves had learned as children…. it was time to think back quite a few years!!!! Bali Beads

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Actually, to make bracelets is not a difficult thing, but we need to translate the ways in english and teach them step by step. Finally these bracelets, which made by the children will sale to people. And the proceeds will help to teach them the value of money, and remind us volunteers about the relation of what we have in our countries and homes.

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These children are so smart !  They are so beautiful  - both inside and out!  And how clever!  After they finished the bracelets, they smiled and gave it to me without hesitation. When I see such smiling faces, I just felt that all the hard work was worth it. This class not only teach them how to earn money by themselves, but also teach them a skill.

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But  one thing in Bali that I learned was that,  in fact, I didn’t teach them a lot compared to what they taught me!

Thank you all of you. I will never forget the time I stayed here and was able to be part of this Bali family!

 

 

Being a volunteer in Africa (& what it means to me)

By Kathleen W., Voluntourist, IHF Kenya
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For a very long time I knew I wanted my life to involve caring for, and working alongside,   the poor of this world. I also always believed it would be a life of countless sacrifices and few joys. The last three weeks at IHF have been a pleasant surprise and have shown me that you can have an incredibly joyful life while caring for the poor of this world.
It is not an either/or choice that involves either sacrificing all of your comforts while serving the poor OR having all of your comforts and not serving the poor. You can have both! I can still do the things I love to do…. go on adventurous hikes, go camping, read at coffee shops, watch episodes of my favorite tv show etc. It is also surprisingly easy to make friends with both local people and expats from around the world. 
Yes, we take showers with a bucket and eat a very simple diet, but the joys far outweigh the sacrifices.
Kenya2I have only been here for 3 weeks and the kids have so kindly welcomed me into their lives and their IHF family. Despite their unique and painful pasts, the kids are generous, kind and hard working. I genuinely love spending time with them and working on their behalf. They make me laugh and it brings me so much joy to see them happy.
I have been able to get my fill of engaging conversations with the teenagers, while enjoying plenty of hugs, games, and silliness with the younger kids.
This is also a very talented bunch of people. Since I have arrived I have watched David win his football match, Nelson and Peter win their school athletics races, and heard about Elvis winning a dance competition! I am already dreading the day I will leave in a couple of weeks and hope to one day return.

 

Things a’movin in Jakarta…

by Mindaugas, Co-Director, IHF Jakarta

It was quite busy week for us. Firstly, we were fully cleaning our center. You can’t imagine how much dust were cleaned ! We moved around some things; the center looks way bigger now. Also, our roof is also being repaired—fortunately not by us, but by professionals ! :)
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We also started football classes again. It takes place on every Sunday at 11am.  It  was raining on Saturday night, thus only several kids came, however next week we expect 2-3 times more ! All of us say thanks to Louis who is willing to spend his spare time for IHF kids. Moreover, Football classes are not only about football,  Louis also aim to teach English as well ! HE always initiates warm up for all parts of the body so kids learn such words like legs, knee, shoulder, hand and etc.

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We had lots of work this week but it was definitely rewarding, and we ended the week with a big smile on our faces. Moreover, all of us went to eat Satay. It was really delicious… :)

Things are definitely moving at the Jakarta center!

Aceh Projects in Action!

By Jessica, Co-Director, IHF Aceh

This week was quite a relaxing week as many of the previous projects that we had spent weeks planning have finally been implemented.

We started a new art class, which has so far been quite a success with the students that signed up. These classes were started as a project between the Banda Aceh IHF Center and some local artists.

Aceh2Each month one specific person will teach a designated topic to the students. This month, Mita (the teacher for March), has been focusing on imagination, creativity, and how to nurture it into a work of art. They started the lesson by drawing whatever they could think of with their eyes closed. Then they moved to drawing anything they could think of with specific shapes (squares, circles, rectangles, etc). They have also started on free creative writing. We hope that the skills that our students learn in these classes can expand into their everyday lives as well.

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Aside from that we were very sad to see Julia, our French Volunteer go. She was to say for six months, but had to leave early. She was an indispensable addition to the center, and we will surely miss her. She helped the center tremendously with the classes, and always took the initiative to think of things to do that could improve the center- a   garden and  French classes, for example. Thanks for all your help, Julia!

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What I like about Banda Aceh…

by Alexandra, Voluntourist, IHF Aceh

This week was quite exciting as we were organising two fundraising projects at the IHF Centre of Banda Aceh.

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We were working on a video for “The Good Story Competition”, with which IHF wants to participate in a competition amongst other Asian NGOs. The film will show interviews between our volunteers and students about our work and ambitions and moments of our lives at the IHF Centre and in Banda Aceh.

In my spare time, I have enjoyed visiting the the many coffeeshops in Banda Aceh. Here you can get in touch with the local people, have a nice chat, try their delicious coffee and some traditional food like Tempe – a soy cracker with a spicy sauce – or Martabak – a very buttery cake with different toppings like banana and cheese or chocolate and peanuts – delicious!

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Besides that, I took my first surf lessons at the Lhoknga Beach 10km outside of the city. My teacher is a local surf addict who was very patient but would not understand my difficulties with the board.  It was a lot of fun, though very tiring after a couple of hours.

I really enjoy my time at the Centre with my colleagues from all over the world and the students who are very sweet, curious, and diligent.Aceh 3

Besides that, I have become fond of the city of Banda Aceh, from its young and fresh atmosphere to its very open-minded and friendly people.

Recruiting at IHF Bali

by Cassie & Qi, Voluntourists, IHF Bali

Waking up early the morning, we gathered and then went to the local market and surrounding villages for recruiting students to join our teaching classes. We walked through the market and then the side alleys of the city of Manggis, looking for our target audience to distribute information about our free classes (see areas on map in yellow).


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People were nice to greet us and we allocated fliers to them. It was really a pleasure that some parents showed great interests and even asked us for more fliers so as to share information with their friends. At that moment, we were touched because of the parental concern about kid’s education. Actually, this was the first and the vital step to start our program wasn’t it?

We were grateful to have this kind of experience, even though we were a bit shy at first…. it was an important part of what IHF does and also a special cultural experience. On our way through the villages, we saw several amazing ‘family’ temples while walking through the villages and visiting homes. Recruiting Bali

Having been volunteering in Bali center for about ten days, we still have the feeling of accomplishment every time the kids learn something. We think it is this feeling that motivates us to teach and pass our limited knowledge to the needed children. Realizing how much we can and DO! do at IHF Bali —  from recruiting to teaching, to playing and interacting, to participating in community events and cleaning up our beach, it has been a humbling, once-in-a-lifetime, life-changing  experience for us!

 

 

Feels like Autumn in Chiang Rai…

by Madalina, Work-Study Volunteer, IHF Chiang Rai & Bali

And here I am, after a long trip from Bali I finally arrived to the Chiang Rai center. The place where the weather is just perfect, with authentic people,happy to help you and never expecting anything in return. It’s  a Thailand wonderland. Amazing food and great local markets. 

The first days at the center were pretty chilly, as I was just starting to know the place, the kids and the other volunteers. What a refreshing change to the heat and humidity of Bali! 

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So what we do here? Most of the people would say…. serving the kids, being their live-in caretakers. Depends how you see the things, depends how you choose to give and also depends on your mindset. I am just talking from my point of view and from what I experienced so far.

I cleaned the yard (there are lot of leaves falling down from the trees, and everything is covered of a yellowish layer of leafs…just as when is autumn) and then I made a fire from it. Which I kept firing up quite often. Fire_CR

Did I enjoy  it? Yes, it reminded me of my childhood at my grandparents’ village. After that we went to pick up the smallest kids from school.

Surprisingly,on the way back we started right away to play and  put funny faces to each other which gave me a feeling that we could spend some nice time together. They are leaving for school at 7:30 am(including the other children that attend the high school) with a public bus that stops just in front of our yard. We only see them around 3 PM (the smallest ones) and 5 PM (the high school children) when they come back from school. I like seeing them around. Sometimes during the weekends,  some of them go to their villages and everything is so quiet here. Not my favorite part. I like hearing them be noisy and the bustle of their activities.

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I am not a great cook, since I usually don’t cook for myself. But here we also have to cook for ourselves  and for the children. So far, I just have helped, which is the best thing for the kids because they eat VERY spicy foods, and I think that everything I would make they wouldn’t enjoy too much because it would all be too bland. But I will give my best for sure.

The kids study at school all day, and they also have homework to do or exams to prepare after school, so having the dinner ready for them is also very rewarding. I could tell that they are very smart children, sometimes shy, sometimes maybe just tired of socializing (which is totally understandable; we are here for short periods of time and keep coming and leaving. Is not so easy to be open all the time, but this is the exciting challenge for me —  getting to know them better.)

They are all great children that take care of each other. They behave like siblings. I will be here only for a month so I really hope I will get to know them better. I love being here and spending time with them, and helping them with their daily routine.

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As for the city, I have never been happier in a new place as last night at the Saturday’s Market. Everybody dancing, teaching you the moves, smiling at you, and giving you great energy. It was magical and positive indeed! 

Chiang Rai: definitely a place to love and surely a place to come back to. 

 

My Medan Experience

by Yan Yujin, Voluntourist, IHF Medan

The first week spent in Medan Center is really nice. Everything for me is a special and unforgettable experience.

The Directors here are great,   just like  big sisters. We talk everything about the center, the kids and life…

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The kids here are cute, although some of them are naughty in class.  The local volunteers and teachers help me a lot. The classes are usually at night and we teach different ages of kids and play with them as well. There are four girls who always stay in the center and play a while after class. I taught them games and we play the games almost everyday.

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The food in the center is fine - there is chicken for lunch and dinner, but the flavor is different.

In summary, Medan Center is a big lovely and friendly family that is welcoming and interesting. Don’t think twice about joining!