Crafting at IHF Aceh center

By:  Sahat, Co-Director Aceh

This week, we organised special activities with our SD students. We have something different which is the students make a short story with pictures in each paragraph. I really like to see how they do such a good job. This is also to challenge them and to see how well they are in terms of reading a text and this is good to explore their imagination and creativeness.


DSCN0097We also have Yola, our math teacher who always helps us with our special activities with children at the center. She has been with us for almost three months now. She is quite easy to get along with anybody here, friendly, easy going. Her students really like her so much, and Yola is just like their older sister. She has a good time to spend with the children such as play games, help with homework and she likes making jokes with her students. Yola can handle her class well. She has good skills in terms of arts. Last time, she made workshop about art class, to draw pictures with their favourite carton player from the movie. Students really enjoyed it and had fun. That’s why the students really admire her a lot. Yola has lots of ideas to share and willing to dedicate her quality time for our arts class.
Our special activity is always full of fun and happy learning every time. We organise it after
a regular class for students is finished. This month, we have just few students coming to the center to study. It’s due to DSCN1985Ramadhan month ad students with their family go to their village for vacation. One student who loves attending craft session is Athaya, our SD5 student. Athaya is a talented girl. She likes crafting and never miss any special activity for crafting. Last time she made flower craft. She did great!

Carnivals, Daredevils, & Dances!

By: Teresa, Co-Director IHF Medan

IMG_7717I am just beginning to explore some of the activities Medan has to offer. One fun activity I enjoyed this week was going to a small carnival that was set up near the center; they had cotton candy and rides – just like they would in the US. I went with our previous co-director, Lissa, and a large group of students from our junior and senior classes. It was hilarious watching everyone squeal and laugh while on the rides.

 IMG_7716At the carnival, there was also a motorcycle daredevil show. During the show, a rider rode around inside a giant barrel to the point where he was completely horizontal. The onlookers held out bills for him to grab as he went by. Lissa taunted him by pulling the money back just as he went to grab it. He retaliated by riding right up to the edge of the barrel, which put the bottom of his wheels less than a foot from our faces. In Indonesia, this event is called “tong setan”, which means “devil barrel”.  Lissa mentioned that it is called this due to the prevailing myth that for the riders to have such amazing abilities, they must be possessed by a demon. I encourage readers to search up “tong setan” on YouTube as it is pretty amazingIMG_7701 to witness!


In addition, this week, I was also very lucky to see a beautiful dance done by four of our junior class students. They wore lovely yellow outfits and used fans as props. The dance was a traditional Melayu dance – another amazing thing to see!Overall, this has been an exciting week and I am enjoying my time here in Medan.


We have a Lot of Friends at the Center

By: Sarah, Co-Director IHF Thailandchicks

This week in Chiang Rai was a normal, busy week.

It was raining even more than last week, and so we were not able to do a lot due to the bad weather.

For this week’s post, I would like to tell you about the friends we have living with us at the center.

We have a frog that you have to be careful to not trample on during the night, which actually quite a common occurrence here.

We have a lot of different snakes – big and small. Luckily, we found out quite recently that they are not dangerous snakes. Still, they scare us a lot. You always have to be careful aLazy Bobobout what are you moving towards and where you are walking.

We have a lot of tiny spiders (black and white); they are annoying because they sting just like mosquitoes and cause itching. Obviously, these are our more irritating friends.

Then, we have some big spiders too. They are fast and so it is very difficult for us to hunt them. We only want to move them farther away from the center, we swear!

We also have a lot of chickens that continue to raise chicks. They are very sweet to see, but at the same time, they are very annoying because they are messy.

We have a rooster too! He is very colorful and he sings all the time.lizard

We have a very lazy cat, Bobo. He is sweet and cuddly. One of our nicer, more pleasant friends.

During the night, all around the center, fireflies fill the air. It is an amazing spectacle – watching them fly and brighten the grass around us.

We have a lot more friends: lizards of all sizes, small crabs, small scorpions, cockroaches and a lot of more insects. But we will leave those for another time!

Over the past two months in IHF’s center in Chiang Rai, I saw a lot of animals I have never seen before.  It is amazing to see how it is possible to live with them safely once you know how!

Inspiration and Secret Spaces

By: Innocent, Work-Study NakuruIMG_20160602_182426

The mood at the Nakuru centre has settled down. It seems like we have become accustomed to each other.  I have settled into the lifestyle, and it almost seems like home now. From a Ted Talk night, movie night, a trip to the river, and raffles, this week was filled by many events. This is due to the presence of the numerous volunteers who arrived this week. The influx of people brought with it ideas — great ideas I might add.

IMG_20160601_105849This week I substituted a teacher for a life skills class that the kids usually have every week. Considering that I do not have that much life skills or experience, I drew inspiration from others. I chose 3 Ted talks that were pertinent to the kids’ situation. One was by Richard Turere, a young intelligent boy coming from similar contexts as the students. He found a way to use flashing lights to chase away lions from his family’s livestock in Kenya. They found this inspirational and interesting how simple ideas can contribute to the development of communities. The discussion we had was profound and deeply seeded.IMG_20160601_132515

Following this, the kids invited the volunteers to go see the waterfall close by where they go to swim. It was hard to say no. So we took a 15 minute hike to the river, sharing stories and taking in the green scenery. When we arrived at the waterfall it was clear why the kids came here as often as possible. The water was not clear or warm but it was an incredible playing ground. There is something about going to a river that soothes the soul, the atmosphere was calm; smiles were all around. The worst part was having to leave. I was very thankful that they showed me this precious secret.

First Week in Bali: 3 Observations

By: Xuanli, Voluntourist Bali 

How time passed by! My volunteer life in Bali has lasted for one week. I have already gotten familiar with the pace of life here. Being a volunteer of IHF seems to be the most splendid experience for me this summer. I’m very glad to share what I gained from the past days:

1.) Life at the center

As a member of the center, I am an assistant and I help during classes along with other volunteers. Children are divided into different classes and every volunteer tries their best to make the courses both useful and interesting so that local children can benefit from them. This means volunteers need a lot of sufficient preparation for each class. To be honest, I didn’t know much about teaching. But I’m getting better and better since coming here, while also having fun and gaining a sense of achievement.

The other time is free for me, so I have a lot of time to handle my own business, and exploring the island is a good choice. I can also benefit from chatting with other volunteers. We live together these days and share experience and feelings. The atmosphere of the center is friendly and peaceful. The center is located in a quiet place by the sea. It has a beautiful garden and two houses with complete facilities which even includes a swimming pool! It is an excellent place for children to play and study. Living here is also comfortable for us volunteers.

2.) Making friends with the children

When I first arrived at the center, some local children were playing happily with volunteers. These children are very enthusiastic and friendly; I joined their game easily and soon became a friend of theirs. After a few days of getting to know each other, I’m deeply impressed by their intelligence. They learn things really fast and all of them have a good memory. Some of them taught me the local language and shared toys with me. I am lucky to be teaching these lovely children.

3.) Bali, a picture-perfect place

Near the border of the equator, this island is just like a Fairy Tale World. We went volcano hiking during our day off. It was a difficult journey, but really worth it when we saw the sunrise from the top of the mountain. The sea near the center is pure and I hear the sound of waves every night. The starry sky can be seen every night as well. It’s hard to describe how wonderful it is with words. It’s a place that you could never regret coming to.

That’s my entire story and I still have one more week to experience these things. I’m looking forward to find more splendid things. I hope you can have your own unique story here.

It’s a Day to be Happy at IHF Awards!

By: Sahat, Co-Director IHF Medan

May is in full of happiness in Aceh!

We are so excited to report that our Pass It On Ceremony was successfully done on Saturday, 28 May 2016. We are very proud to make a special theme of this event “IHF Awards.” The theme was happiness! This event had been anticipated by all the children after they had completed the final exams. One day before the ceremony was held, we were so busy preparing things, going over the Run-Down for the Pass It On, figuring out gifts for the rank holders of each class, making sure that all the grading completed, certificates DSCN1466created and signed by teachers, wrapping the prizes and decorating the center with senior students. We were all very excited and can’t wait to see their smiles faces at the event then.

On Pass It On, we were welcoming students with activity such as to play music and songs. Then, children who got the best scores would show up to get their certificates and prizes in front. Since we didn’t want to miss a thing at this event, it was a very good time to take pictures with the teachers and winners together to document our great moments. We also prepared some special awards for best attendance in each class. We believe that all the children felt so much joy when they went home from the center. This time, we had a favorite teacher of the year, too. Risqa was chosen as the best teacher. She was greatly appreciated by all of us. The children are also really close to her. DSCN1497Risqa is just like an older sister for them.

We had some delicious food. Bunga and the teachers helped us to prepare some fried rice (nasi goreng), cakes and drinks. We gave out the snacks, drinks and ate together. Then, we continued organizing for activities. Everyone was excited to follow the games. They were given additional prizes to those who won at the games. Finally, we took one final picture with all the children and teachers. We realized that it was a precious moment at our center this time. We will start classes again soon, and we hope that students will come more to register for the new school year.

A Week Full of New Events

Picking Fresh Mangos
By: Deanna, Work-Study Thailand

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!