Looking back to my experience at Anjali House, I can say it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever done.
I was volunteering with children teaching them English, but I should say that I learnt so much from them! Seeing the children every day made me so happy that even a bad day could change in a wonderful day. Children are always spontaneous and never hid what they think or what they want to say. I absolutely love this way of living. I think that if also adults would behave in this way, we would live with more true love and in a more peaceful world.
Now that I have finished my volunteering, I can see the entire impact this experience had on me and on the children. It made me grow on, but on the other side, gave me the opportunity to live again a little bit of my childhood and feel more free, with fewer thoughts. Regarding children I could say that I have seen them growing and getting more aware about the importance of learning. We always tried to make the lessons funny in some ways, so that they were more encouraged to practice English and it worked so well! Indeed, after two months, I could see an amazing improvement in their English. I was so delight about it, that I would have liked to stay longer to continue to grow together.
My tasks were mainly about assisting English and Sport classes, preparing creative workshops and helping in the garden. About workshops, we had the opportunity to try many different activities and have fun together. Activities were mostly about crafting. Children love this way of learning, because they can use their fantasy to express themselves. We also had fun by creating maracas with recycled plastic bottles and, instead of rice, we used some little rocks to put inside. Then, we experimented different rhythms and played some songs. It was absolutely extraordinary!
We used some workshop lessons to work on the topic of “telling a story”. First, we watched a cartoon to understand how a story is made of, and then, children illustrated it. They were incredibly brave in telling it in English by groups, as it is not easy at all to narrate a story in a language that it is not their native language. The goal of this exercise was making children aware about the construction of a story, so after they could invent and tell their own stories. In order to do it, we realised some finger puppets together and use them to invent some wonderful stories. It was great to hear them!
One other remarkable workshop and one of the lats, it was the “kindness tree”. Every child cut a paper leaf to each of their classmate and wrote something they appreciated about them. It came out to be a beautiful and sweet tree. Children were really glad to see all the positive messages about them.
I would also say that gardening with children was really funny. Thanks to Annie, the responsible volunteer of the garden, we had an absolutely hilarious time and I learnt a little bit more about gardening practices. Sport as well was really important for children, during this time they put all their energy in the games. The fact of always playing outdoor also contributed to a good health, which is one of the main goals of Anjali House: looking after children and ensure their wellness.
I will never forget all these good times with children and my colleagues. Every person in his/her way contributed to make it an unforgettable experience.
Thank you all for welcoming me in the team.
And thank you Cambodia for being such an amazing country!