This is my first week as a work-study volunteer in Aceh and it’s definitely been an exciting one! It’s always really busy here as we have classes at our center six days a week and we are currently working on lots of new programs and fundraising ideas. Although Aceh is very different to London, where I am from, everyone has been really friendly and have helped me adjust to life here. The students are really interested to learn more about me and are always asking me questions about England and my family. Also, the local volunteers are often inviting me to do things with them and this week I went to a craft workshop and visited a beach which was a lot of fun.
Apart from meeting lots of new people and helping out with the classes at the center, this week we started new off-site lessons at Blang Krueng, a impoverished area in the city. Here we will be teaching English and Maths twice a week to students in their Junior school. As Blang Krueng is far away from the center, the children cannot come to our regular classes. This week, local volunteers Kiki and Zee helped transport us to the center and took the Maths classes. I taught one of the English classes and so did Joko. I have never taught such enthusiastic students and I may have had even more fun than them!
We are currently trying to open more programs like the one at Blang Krueng, as many children cannot easily get to our center and there are a lot of students that would benefit from the extra tuition we can offer them. Doing programs like these are also great for volunteers at it gives them some real hands-on experience in different communities and offers them new challenges.
Overall, it’s been a very positive start to my month of volunteering for IHF and I am really looking forward to the weeks ahead!