For a long time I have been wanting to broaden my perspective on education challenges in developing countries. I wanted a chance to build upon my business development experience in India for a British charity by volunteering with an organisation that understands the needs and realities of their local communities and would give me a hands-on opportunity to experience the same. After little deliberation, I decided to pursue this opportunity in 2013, prior to pursuing graduate degree in Education Policy.
The Internet offered me a whole gamut of volunteer options and my research suggested that the International Humanity Foundation stood out from the other organisations because they were very professional, structured in their approach and affordable, unlike a lot of organisations that charge an exhorbitant fee to give your time, effort and skills for a noble cause. With a quick turn around on my application, they defined their expectations at the outset, carefully delegated volunteer responsibilities and balancing my personal preferences and the needs of the organisation.
I had an extremely warm welcome (pun intended) at the IHF Home in Jakarta. Every single detail was taken care of to make my stay here as comfortable as possible. This week has been all about understanding the way IHF functions, getting used to the ‘Indonesian way of life’ w.r.t to food, culture and customs. Additionally, I have been spending a lot of time with Tess and Thibault who are briefing me on all my task team responsibilities. I have never really taught before but the helpful teaching tips shared by fellow volunteer teachers have been extremely valuable in giving me the confidence to be able to deliver English classes to children despite having zilch knowledge on Bahasa. I have also been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and curiosity of these dreamy eyed children to learn new things that their school does not teach them! I am also amazed at the commitment of the parents and teachers to IHF’s after school learning activities.
I have made a small photo video, a very feeble attempt to capture the beautiful moments from my first week here….Keep an eye out for my weekly photo video update that features all the exciting things going on here at the Jakarta Center.