Monday, August 24, 2015

Joey's blog

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. Mother Teresa
I can still remember my body shaking because of the nerves that I felt the day I got the phone call from the ICS office to tell me that I had been accepted as a national volunteer for the ICS program. Many questions came up to my mind… thinking… What type of project would I work on? If the people part of project would accept me? If I was capable to work on a project in my own city? and things like that ...

The day before we met the UK volunteers we were finally placed in our projects I was placed in the ‘Childhood and Youth Empowerment Project’. This project focuses on the empowerment of children and youth to make them more aware of certain issues like nutrition, environment and problems that kids may face at home. The excitement that you feel when you meet the other volunteers and your team leaders it’s indescribable.  

From day one, the experience in the program was mind-bending because of the children, the educators, kitchen staff and the other volunteers. The job and tasks you are assigned gets eased off because there are always people there to hug you and ask you ‘how was your day?’. I LOVE THAT!  

Within the team we divided EMPO in teams of three people. Initially, there were people that were afraid that these teams could not work properly and be effective when reaching the goals established at the beginning of the program. However, now that we are close to the end of the project, I can proudly say that everything went wonderfully and that the decisions made by our TLs have been the correct ones.  

The first week was essentially devoted to know everybody so we could become a real team and bond with the other volunteers. We also visited the centres we would work with during the term. Through the week the team leaders made us practice our skills related to the delivery of sessions. This week Demis (groups made of three people) started the planning for their sessions, during this time my demi has given sessions related to environment, nutrition, healthy food, unhealthy food, bullying and domestic violence.  

Each session was a new challenge for us, it is important to recognize that not all sessions were a success, but we learned from our mistakes to find the key that would make us better and by better I mean giving more interesting, interactive and educational sessions for children. What we learned over time is that younger children learn more with games and crafts while older children prefer real stories.  

The work with the team leaders has been very coordinated, I feel grateful to have gotten the chance to follow them and to have them as leaders, I learned a lot from them. Ali (The François Dillinger) and Vince (The Grandpa smurf). 

To end this blog I would like to mention the names of people that have occupied an space in my heart: Emma (godmother), Shirley (the estoy happy), Daniela (potich), Eddel (the adorable), Raquel (the best buddy), Tita (the blondie), Anysa (the nicest), Imogen (shinning star), Lora Loo (the cutest), Danielle (the piña colada), Enya (the sweetest voice), Ellie (the beast), Sammy (the beautiful hair), Rhian (the beautiful), Kera (the judge), Lucy (the kind), Sarah (The party girl), Kate (little B). Also wanna mention and thank James, Brandon, Joe and Ross for being friendly. And to end up with the list I wanna mention and thank as well Mike, Reuben and Dale (the sweetest ones).  

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