Making a change in the world has always been something close to my heart after travelling to some beautiful countries in the world and witnessing the sadness of severe poverty; the lack of respect, recognition and rights for certain individuals.
This inspired me to travel to Thailand to volunteer teaching English in schools with a lack of funding for English teachers. Which in Thailand is a key skill as to attend university you must pass an English exam, therefore excludes those less fortunate from attending university and achieving their full potential. Having reduced opportunities in education due to a lower income I feel is a large injustice, therefore wanted to make a change even if only small. Therefore, chose to volunteer though a small organisation called Original Volunteers.
Travelling alone, even though with an organisation who sort the school placement an accommodation, was extremely daunting as I had never been to Thailand before and didn’t know what to expect. However, if you do not push yourself out of your comfort zone such as an experience like this you cannot grow as a person and challenge your thoughts and opinions.
The weeks I spent volunteering were amazing seeing the gratitude of the children and also the teachers in the school. Although there was a large language barrier with even the head teacher speaking very limited English we were thoroughly looked after and apricated. However, there were extremely sad moments when children were having to share a pen between three of them, a piece of stationary we take for granted. Although even sharing a pen between three of them it didn’t knock their spirt it seemed to make them more motivated. After finishing my volunteering my last day landed on their teacher appreciation day, where children bring in gifts such as flowers to say thank you to their class teachers. I was lucky enough to experience this celebration, being thoroughly involved ending up on stage accepting some of the gifts, such an amazing way to end my volunteering experience.
As well as having an amazing experience in the school, I also managed to explore some of Thailand such as the stunning Phi Phi islands and the elephant sanctuaries of Chang Mai which was beautiful!
Due to this experience and opportunity I learnt the best things in life lay on the other side of the fear and unknown, and every chance to do something to push you out of your comfort zone should be embraced!