6 of the greatest perks I got from volunteering at IHF, and why you should do it, too!!

by Jenifer, Voluntourist, IHF Medan,

1.New experience. This is my first hands-on volunteering experience, so it is new to me and I am very excited. This is something that I have really wanted to do for a long time and now I finally get the chance to do it. This experience will definitely last a lifetime. So far it has been very rewarding and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead.

2. I gained a lot of new knowledge and lifelong skills. Teaching is new to me. I am learning and trying to do it better each day. A lot of people assume that teaching is the easiest job on earth. They are wrong. Sometimes it can be tough to explain something to a big group of people and try to help them understand a concept they have never known before. I think teaching needs a lot of practice and not everybody can do it well. I am glad that I have the opportunity to learn howIMG_20150820_170702 to teach now, because it might be very useful for me someday. Also, I realize that teaching has really improved my communication and public speaking skills a lot. I was not a really good public speaker and I didn’t speak publicly often. Now I have to do it a lot, and it has made me a better speaker.

3. The children are amazing!! All the children here have very high desire to learn although sometimes there were topics that were quite hard for them to understand. The majority of the class did struggle a lot when it came to written assignments, but I could see that they were trying really hard to understand and to get it right. The fact that they care about their education makes me feel it’s worth spending my time teaching them. I also noticed that a number of kids possess good talents. I believe they will have the ability to do better if they work hard enough. They have the potential to be successful and they might be future leaders someday.

4. I met a lot of new interesting people. The people here are very nice to talk to. They often share their stories and I love listening to them. I am trying to get to know them better and I am really hoping to build long lasting friendships with them. They are very interesting and chatting with them often gives me a lot of new information that I have never known before and widens my knowledge. One of the co-directors here, Ms.Lisa, is a dentist and she also knows a lot abIMG_20150820_171227out travelling. From her, I have learned about the immigration office here, as well as other travelling tips. On top of those, being here is so much fun. Volunteering here literally lengthens my lifespan because I am smiling and laughing so much. People here really know how to joke.

5.IHF makes me a better person. I am a 16 year-old girl who has never come out of my shell to see the world. Honestly, I don’t know what the real world is like out there. My daily routine is waking up at 7, going to school, walking home at 4.30, going to tuitions until 9 p.m, then sleeping. I seldom interact with adults other than my teachers and parents. Being here opens up my eyes to a new world I have never seen. It also enables me to communicate with lots of adults from whom I have learned a lot. Being here has totally made me grow into a more mature person.

6.You are going to receive the warmest welcome. Ever since the first phone call I made to IHF until this moment, everybody has been nothing but friendly to me. The co-directors here are incredibly helpful and nice. They understand that you are new to the environment, and they will make sure to keep you as comfortable as possible and feel like a part of the team. They will also guide and train you patiently to do tasks, starting from the simplest one, like filling the attendance record. They always offer me food and invite me to join so many activities. They have been very caring to me. I am so grateful to them for all the love and understanding, as well as for treating me as a part of the family. I feel very lucky to be here. Although I have been here only for a short time, I already feel like it’s home to me, and I really enjoy volunteering here. So, thanks to the co-directors who have made volunteering for IHF a truly wonderful experience for me20150818_195840

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