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.

A Week Full of New Events

Picking Fresh Mangos
By: Deanna, Work-Study

This week at IHF Chiang Rai our mango trees are ripe and ready to be eaten. Several times this week we have seen Arisa, Jiraporn and Nupon, climb the trees in the backyard to pick fresh mangos for everyone to eat.

On top of it being the right time for Mangos, it is also the perfect time for the Maeng Mun ant to come out. On Wednesday evening the whole neighbourhood was out on the streets catching the Maeng Mun, including some of the kids at the centre. We learnt that it only comes out a couple of times a year and is cooked as a special food in Northern Thailand. With a bit of oil and salt in the pan, Arisa cooked the Maeng Mun and we all ate it. To us it tasted like crunchy popcorn.

Arisa, Kantiya and Jiraporn have all been very helpful in the kitchen this Darid's New Helmetweek. Most evenings we begin to cook dinner and then ask them to help us out, but it usually ends up with them showing us the better
way to prepare and cook the meals. We were also very happy to welcome some new chicks that hatched this week, our family of chickens is growing!

We are very proud on Darid’s decision to buy a helmet for his new scooter. Unfortunately in Thailand a lot of people don’t wear it and it can be very dangerous. We are really happy to see that Arisa the Teacherhe is always using it.

Our week ended with a Sunday dinner altogether, followed by a Thai lesson from Arisa. She is a great teacher, and although our pronunciations made most of the young ones laugh out loud, they were more than happy to help us out.

Birds Take Flight

By: Sahat, Co-Director Aceh DSCN0456

It’s already May. That means final exams are coming soon. All the classes are going to review the lessons they have learned this semester. We are hoping that they can catch up on lessons that they have missed before. Not to mention, all the teachers will make some changes according to the level of their classes. After that, we need to compile and make copies of the papers so they are ready to be handed out on the exam days. The students were informed in advance about the exam schedule. We will also hold a Pass It On Ceremony a week after the exams. Everyone is so excited for that moment, and cannot wait to learn of their own exam results.

IDSCN0425 have been browsing the internet to help me think of craft activities for the children this week. Want to see what I have found? Here you go! This kind of activity was so much fun with the kids. The theme was about making 3D birds. The materials are origami papers, glue, and crayons . It is quite easy to make actually. The children were given instructions to be followed step by step. First, they needed to draw the bird sketches on the drawing paper according to their interests. They could draw any kind of bird they wanted. Next, they cut it and painted it with color. Last , we folded origami papers to make the wings and fastened them with glue. This craft can be adapted with siDSCN0463mple preparations and clear instructions so that it can be attempted by children of all ages.

All our children quickly and easily made the craft, and they were satisfied with what they had produced. Crafting with children is all about having fun, experimenting, and adapting activities to suit what we have available and we think that the children would enjoy most. We are planning to make something new next time!

Uncountable Nouns and Creativity

By:  Kristine, Co-Director JakartaFullSizeRender 27

We’re almost at the finish line!  One more week of exam preparations then it’s time for our students to show what they have learned this semester.

Last week in Jakarta, our junior high school students reviewed present and future tenses.  They did grammar drills and practiced choosing the right tense to complete sentences.
IMG_3137Some of our youngest students reviewed family vocabulary by drawing family trees and others reviewed words to describe taste and food.  Others of our students reviewed countable and uncountable nouns – they did not have a lot of fun doing it but it was necessary.  Did you get the uncountable noun pun there?

Meanwhile, we continue our artsy ways in Jakarta, starting with a day of royalty. Some of our younger girls were princesses for an afternoon when they made paper crowns.  This activity involved 3 of their favourite activities: drawing, colouring and cutting paper.  They also used “jewels” to enhance their fabulous headgear.IMG_3134
We also had a special colour theory activity, where the children learned about primary, secondary and tertiary colors. They made color wheels for each other and also did an activity where they had to pick complementary colors and color an illusion.  Fun was had by all!

6 Month Marker: A Co-Director Reflects

BWP_20160508_13_14_21_Proy:  Aggie, Co-Director Kenya

Last week was the last week of my stay here before going home for holidays!

It was a very reflective week, full of summarizing thoughts about the past six months.  The time here in Kenya always flies.  Every day is full of unknown, adventure, surprise.

There were days which kept you busy all day long with plenty of stuff going on.  Your attention was required without any breaks.  But there were also lazy days when the rain came and stopped everything for a moment – there was a time for afternoon tea and biscuits, watching a movie or reading a book. WP_20160508_13_15_06_Pro

My past six months here were very intense – it would be hard for me
to describe it briefly to anyone who wasn’t here.  The times of joy and happiness were mixed with  disappointments and failures.  Every success of a child though compensated for any negative issue with another.

The children have been studying really hard which made me so proud of them.  It is amazing to see a child growing, becoming a better person, learning.

We have all been learning here from each other – children, local staff, directors and assistants. We have been concentrating on WP_20160508_13_13_23_Prodeveloping the team work and developing our skills.

It was a great adventure to be back to Kenya again…As usually in my case, I already can`t wait to be back to this country – somehow it has become my second home. A place where I am growing, learning, becoming better in what I want to do in my life – working in international development.  This time it will only be a three week break before I come back again.  Hopefully I will charge my batteries and be ready for hard crazy work again…it`s so worth it!

First Week, Fresh Experiences

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By:  Marta, Voluntourist Bali

My first week…was amazing.

After flying for almost 20 hours from Barcelona, Spain (my lovely home city), I landed in Bali. My first thought was something like “OMG it is really hot here”.  Pak Agus from from the center (and the most helpful man on the island), was already waiting for my arrival at the airport.

The last few years of my life, I have been combining my studies with work, to get job experience and improve my skills.  After living for nearly two years in The Netherlands, I decided to do something completely different:  to be a voluntourist.  Combining a month vacation with 6cdc1b68-1aee-4892-bf5b-e349aca83ff7volunteering at an IHF center has been the best decision ever.

How does it work? I am staying in the center, living with the other volunteers and helping out during the classes.  At the same time, I have enough free time to discover the island.  With my rented motorbike, I am free to move around the surroundings.  One of the best views I found was by coincidence, on a path to ‘who knows where’.  See the picture:  enjoy it!

The locals are very nice and kind people, always curious about you, willing to help in case you need it, and of course eager to make their businesses much better!

I am really impressed with the students at the center.  They are so smart!  Also, the fact that the kids come to the center as a voluntary act means a lot; they really want to learn and they enjoy doing it.

After the first day of just being a listener in the classes, I started to participate, mostly focusing on the kids that need more effort to follow the lesson.  I am so grateful to seec0da12d7-e847-4ff9-adfe-6b158c53e860 that a little effort from me can help them that much.  And of course, to get the attention back to the class, for the most distracted kids!

Last Saturday, we had a special activity day.  It is a big challenge to find a new activity for the kids, that is suitable for all ages. I proposed the paper craft called Cootie Catcher and the famous Pictionary.  Fortunately, they all loved it!

Let’s see what next week holds…

Medan Voluntourist: Last Days

By:  Carolina, Voluntourist MedanIMG-20160417-WA042_edit

I can’t believe this was my last week, and I only have one more day.  How am I going to survive without my kids?  Whether we want them to or not, there are always kids that leave a mark in our hearts and I will miss them so much!  Besides the kids, there are always the Co-Directors that are amazing and do everything to make us feel at home.  I loved this experience and definitely will come back and advise everyone to come here too.

So I’ll talk a little bit more about my week and less about my feelings (haha). This week was simple, I assisted SD 2 and Junior class.  All the kids wanted to learn and that spirit gave us motivation to teach.

IMG-20160425-WA001On the weekend I went to Bukit Lawang (Lawang Hill).  Bukit Lawang is a small village with a river called Bahorok, in North Sumatera.  We used simple public transportation to get us there for 2-3 hours more less. It has an amazing view.  We did a simple rafting trip (with 3 tubes bound together to be a small raft).  Bukit Lawang is also known for the animal sanctuary of Sumatran Orang Utan (the big Ape).  Since we just had one day, we only did the rafting.  I definitely recommend visiting this place.  A good way to spend the weekend, with a short trip!

Hello from Aceh Center!

By:  Sahat, Co-Director Aceh

13000219_983520641717739_4166695342902758756_nThis week I had my first full days working at the IHF Aceh center, as I have recently transferred from Medan to Aceh.  I was able to train with Emma and Kristine at the center for a short time before they left for the IHF Jakarta center.  During my time with them, they trained me on everything about how the center works.  They introduced me to the classes and the children at the center.  They are the best co-directors!  At first I was worried about handling everything by myself, but all is running well so far.  The children are very good here; the classes are going well because they are amazing students.13007331_983515708384899_7814058128761926971_n (1)

I feel very blessed to be here.  The children have a big curiosity to learn the lessons.  It surprised me to see that children come extra early to the center because they want to learn more.  They come early to read books in the library and discuss their homework with the teachers at the center.  I like being a part of their life here and the people are very friendly; they love to meet new-comers and open their hearts to everybody.

12998394_983522541717549_4528292087882676621_oWe have great local teachers to help us teach the classes at the center.  They are generous teachers and willing to share their time and their knowledge with the children.  They do this work without getting anything back in return.  These experiences have added many unforgettable moments in my life.  I will never forget this!

Transition

By:  Ana, Work Study NakuruWP_20160402_16_18_35_Pro

My name is Ana and I am from Valencia, a city on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.  I left my country almost eight years ago to move to London (UK).  I have also lived in New Zealand and Australia, but there has always be one place, one continent that made my heart beat every time I thought about visiting or living; Africa.  I left my job in Australia to travel around Africa.  I have been in nine countries around East Africa and I fell in love with its people and its cultures.  It is a fascinating continent that leaves you with a sweet and sour feeling for its beauty and the sadness of seeing so much poverty and injustice.

After three months of travelling I decided to come back to Kenya to do some volunteer work with IHF.  IHF works with disadvantaged children that have been placed in a children’s home by the community chief, due to the extreme poverty in their own community of East Pokot (a province in western Kenya, close to the border with Uganda).   IHF runs six centers across the globe, in Kenya, Thailand and Indonesia.  I arrived at the center in Nakuru last Friday, and as soon as I DSC04819arrived the guards and some of the children came out and welcomed me.  Which, after my long trip from South Africa, made me feel much better.

I am a work-study volunteer and I will be working for two weeks before I return to Spain.  I have been living at the center for three days now, in the same conditions as the children, and what I can say at this point is that it is definitely not easy.  I have traveled around many African countries prior to my arrival at the center and I saw the living conditions of many communities, but you never get used to seeing it.  I was shocked when I saw 49 children living at the center in very basic conditions (but obviously much better that the conditions of where they came from and with much better care).
But what is even more shocking is that the smiles on their faces never disappear.  No matter how little they have, they always keep smiling. That is what gives me strength to keep going DSC04817every day.  It is a huge thing to get used to life in developing countries.  Some people find it harder than others, but having no proper shower, no washing machine, no proper kitchen, electricity and water cuts, and very basic food to eat every day is definitely not easy.

Changes like that, when we are used to all the commodities that are available to us in western countries, are definitely a big challenge.  It is a process, but it is all about adjusting and overcoming.  Overcoming your fears and realising that life is not about a shower or a nice roast pork for dinner; it is about a smile, about a sense of community, about helping each other without asking anything in return, about love and compassion, and about trying to keep those smiles as big as possible no matter how little you have.

3 Things I Learned in Bali

By:  Ina, Work Study BaliIMG_3497

First of all I have to say that I am really glad I decided to volunteer with IHF in Bali.  It’s been an awesome opportunity for me to work with kids, improve my abilities, and have an insight to how a NGO can be organized.  But now to the three most important things I have learned the last month:

1.) I learned to leave the world I’m used to behind.

It doesn’t make any sense to compare this place to where most of us volunteers come from.  Doing that you would only see what’s missing here, but you wouldn’t be giving this area any justice.  Yes, you’re only able to get two to three sorts of jam, finding pasta is a IMG_3494highlight, and you’re happy when you’re able to get three different colors of paper for the kids to do crafts with.  But if you look past that, you would see that this is a very rich place.  Rich in things we tend to forget about in our world.  You only need five stones to play a game with your friends, and for going to the beach with your family you don’t need anything more than those people to have a good time.  The people here really know that.

2.) I learned how to teach (well, I learned the basics at least!)

I had never taught before coming here and was quite nervous about that part.  My first lesson plan took me ages and let’s face it, the lesson was not that great in the end.  But as time goes on you get better, you get more used to your new tasks and more confident with your new position.  And seeing the kidsIMG_3471 improve is well worth the effort!

3.) I learned how to ride a scooter!

It may sound surprising that I put this on the list, but where the center is located in Bali, this is crucial.  But don’t be put off by that, it’s really not that difficult!  And to be honest, it’s quite fun to get around on a scooter here.

Luckily I still have two more months here and I’m curious what I’ll learn in that time.  I’m looking forward to all those upcoming experiences

A Day of Adventures

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By:  Teresa, Co-Director Thailand

I’ve only been in Thailand for three weeks, and I’ve already seen so much!  This week one of our work-study volunteers, Hernan, and I were able to take a trip out to Baan Dam, also known as the Black House Museum.  It is a collection of buildings, items, and artwork all belonging to Thawan Duchanee, a nationally recognized artist in Thailand.  Some of artwork included a lot of skulls, and was a little dark for IMG_1556my tastes, but none-the-less it was very interesting to see.

On our way home we detoured over to Tham Tu Pu and Wat Tham Phra, two caves with statues of Buddha in the inside.  They are near the Kok River, so afterwards we relaxed in one of the huts by the river, and dipped our feet in the cool water.  There were lots of Thai people swimming and having a great time there.

When we got home we were astonished to find that the old abandoned airport by the center had been transformed!  There was a giant concert stage set up, with a walled-in concert area and a huge crowd of Thai people around.  Of course we had to go check it out, and IMG_1564the guards ended up letting us in for free!  This was probably because it turned out that there were only a few songs left, but it was still great to see.  The band was Carabao, one of Thailand’s most famous rock bands!

It was a lot of excitement for one day, but I love that there is always something fun to do here in Chiang Rai!