Volunteer Stories

A group of students and teachers from Salisbury Sixth Form College in Nepal
A group of students and teachers from Salisbury Sixth Form College in Nepal

Fin Edwards
Care & Community in Sri Lanka

Pictures from Sri Lanka
Pictures from Sri Lanka

During the summer I was part of the group that went to Sri Lanka, more specifically, just south of the capital Colombo in a town called Matugama.

As is the norm, our main objective was to use alternative teaching methods which would introduce more interactive lessons into every day school life. This enabled us to ever so slightly develop the children’s basic English. Our afternoons then consisted of either wall painting at a school for children with special needs or teaching local adults more advanced English, involving grammar and the correct use of tenses. This was great to learn and is particularly something I can highlight for future volunteers that are looking to apply for a job or for university. Being able to communicate, despite evident obstacles, is a skill that universities and employers are looking for.

During our weekends, we managed to complete every tourist activity offered in the south of Sri Lanka. These visits were a great platform to build an understanding of the culture but also an opportunity to do something unique that is only offered in the region. The tea processing factory being a classic option along with the elephant sanctuary, but also some controversial choices as well, such as Helga’s Folly.

Projects Abroad in particular were outstanding. We were welcomed and looked after throughout the whole trip. We were allocated two trip advisors; Bessie and Amir. They were informative and helpful in terms of both culture and cards games, hence how they became very much part the group. At no point was there an unorganised half hour without laughs, or curry for that matter!

Something I would like to highlight is that it’s not crucial to go with your best friends because, in these environments, you become close to whoever you go with. These trips are conducted with totally inclusive attitudes which are key to why so many people describe their experiences as “life-changing” and “unforgettable”.

It is without doubt something I would suggest to anyone, wherever you go and whatever you will try to achieve, it is an unforgettable trip that will define your time at school.

 

Fin Edwards

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