Over the last six months Andaman Discoveries has seen a total of 13 volunteers at our 6 projects. Volunteer project coordinators continue to show their enthusiasm to host volunteers as the schools do not have the financial means to hire a western speaking teacher. They often times comment that the student’s English comprehension is extremely low, especially with conservation and contextual understanding. This makes the students often times shy and they have low confidence when trying to speak English. Volunteers are able to fill this gap by introducing interactive and FUN English that the students can relate to and understand. The teachers and project coordinators enjoy learning English as well and seeing new teaching techniques. Volunteers are also able to introduce life skill lessons or other hobbies that they enjoy and the Thai students often times teach the volunteers fun cultural elements, like Thai Songs or dance.
We have also added a new volunteer project at a local Thai school called Bang Tip that has 300 students from grades Kindergarten through sixth. It is always exciting when schools reach out to us looking to host volunteers and we look forward to collaborating with Bang Tip!
Project Coordinator Spotlight: Teacher Saw from the Kuraburi Junior School
Her enthusiasm for volunteers is astounding and she does an exceptional job of circumnavigating language barriers, guiding the volunteers and helping with their cultural integration. Kru Saw enjoys taking volunteers out to see the local attractions, whether it is eating Thai BBQ while watching the sunset by the river, swimming in refreshing waterfalls, or heading to a pristine beach, it is guaranteed to be a good time. She loves spending time with volunteers outside of school, allowing for fun cultural exchange and long lasting friendships. She likes having volunteers because she can improve her own English skills and it allows the students to build their confidence when speaking. The volunteers add an element of interactive teaching techniques that Kru Saw enjoys learning and can see the positive response it has on the student’s attention span and enthusiasm.
Kru Saw Fund Fact: She has 8 pet cats that she adopted from the street to give them a better life:)
Fun project examples that volunteers completed:
A Pen pal program was started at the Kuraburi Junior School with a school in China that the volunteer taught at
A 20 page volunteer activity guide was created for the Burmese Learning Center to help upcoming volunteers with classroom management and st
udent attention. Hygiene classes were also introduced with interactive songs about teeth brushing.
At the Rural Thai school the bathrooms and outside fence were painted. For those couples who volunteer together-don’t worry we can find something for the husband’s to doJ The volunteers also continued the music classes after school and introduced drawing and painting.
“Teaching at the Burmese Learning Center as an incredible experience. The students adore having volunteers, and it is an incredible feeling to know you are helping these children to have brighter futures. While Teaching at the BLC can be challenging, it is also extremely rewarding.”
“I loved my stay and the volunteer project at the Kuraburi Junior School. It showed me the real Thailand and I learned a lot, the teaching was o much fun with Kru Saw!”
“The whole experience was amazing! I recommend it to everyone. The teachers and children are so welcoming and willing to engage! I got to experience Thai culture to the fullest and am very thankful for this opportunity to teach at the Rural Thai School. I 100 percent would do this again.”
“Working at the Ranong Special Education Center is something so special and rewarding. The children crave attention, love, social interaction and knowledge. To be able to contribute to their lives is something so special and it is a privilege. You don’t only contribute to the children’s future, you’re also able to share your knowledge with the teachers; it is a fantastic opportunity to give back to the community and a wonderful journey.”