My Sri Lanka Experience

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 05, 2016

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Submitted: July 05, 2016



I volunteered in an Orphanage in Sri Lanka for 2 weeks during Christmas and the New Year 2015/2016. I worked with children ages 3-6 (mix gender) the first week and I loved them all so much. Duties included, playing games (favourite was musical chairs), dancing+singing (circle time), teaching them shapes, colours, numbers etc in English, arts and crafts and so many more! 

The 2nd week i got to work with 12+ girls for 2 days! I remember myself and another volunteer planned on showing them how to make a very simple 3 braided plattes with different colour woll, but it was the girls that ended up showing us these amazing and very difficult bracelets with around 20 strings at the same time! I was amazed they were so gifted!  We couldn't really spend much time with them as they had to cook and clean but we tried to pull them away as much as we could like our volunteer leader said and just let them be kids for once. 

For the rest of the week we got to work with the boys ages 12+. They were all so out going and full of energy! One day I decided to turn the tables and let the girls take a break and put the boys in the kitchen. I showed them how to make very simple Banana Bread and Rocky Road (my own recipe's) for the Christmas party and they actually did very well! Im glad I showed them that cooking is actually really fun and to do it more often! 

I was also in charge of education on information they don't really get enough on when they should. For all age groups I taught Hygiene and safety, yes it's common sense for us all here but I was really shocked on how little they actually knew about it. For the 12+ girls we had to talk to them about puberty, periods, drugs, sex education etc. All the 'taboo' subjects really as they don't like talking about it but it has to be done eventually and normally in orphanages over in those countries they never bother educating them on it when it’s essential. For the 12+ boys it was really the same thing. 

Sri Lanka was by far the best experience I have ever done in my whole life. And to think that people actually work with kids like that and get paid is crazy! I felt like a child again myself never mind feeling like i was at work! 

It was hard and very stressful though, we weren’t being supervised by any qualified teachers because there was none so it was our responsibility to look after the kids and make sure they behave. In Sri Lanka they discipline the kids by hitting them. Sometimes i would come in to work the next day and a lot of the kids would have cuts and bruises! On my first day i saw a teacher hitting a child with a stick. I could see the tear rolling down the child’s eyes, trying to hold the tears back. She couldn't have been more than 6 years old. I had to way away and i bawled my eye’s out, it absolutely broke my heart. I couldn't really do nothing about it though, it was there culture and i had to respect. Like in Ireland only 12 year’s ago children were being hit in school for discipline and it was seen as normal. I could only suggest way’s of discipline and u actually convinced one of the teacher’s the method of the naughty step instead of hitting.

I worked really hard and fundraised over £5000 all by myself to go over and buy them presents. I didn't see it as a job at all, i nearly felt like a child myself! I got so attached to them though, i was bawling my eyes out leaving!

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