Christel Kleinewillinghoefer

Christel Kleinewillinghoefer lives in Vancouver, Canada. She is a retired teacher, visual artist and outdoor enthusiast who loves trekking and meeting people from all over the world. She runs a homestay for international students and cooks with passion every national dish to take their homesickness away.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Aim Abroad in India?

Teach in India

Christel: After weeks of searching the internet for a volunteering opportunity and being very disappointed about the large amount of money many organisations requested for placements etc. I found AIM ABROAD, a grass root organisation. They offered varies interesting options without charging placement fees, except $50 for administration and pick up from the airport.

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Christel: We agreed on teaching English in the morning from 9 am – 1pm. We had more or less the same classes every day and could work with a curriculum and continuity throughout our two weeks experience. The class room teachers told us what they had done so far, but gave us complete freedom in choosing our own topics. It helped, that I am a retired teacher and know how to teach. My niece rounded up every academic teaching with language games, songs and fun activities.

What made this experience unique and special?

Christel: Our volunteer experience was a very rewarding experience because of several aspects: We lived with the principals family and had been integrated in their daily life. We had totally free hand in working with the children. We had enough time for ourselves to explore Shimla and the surrounding area in the afternoon and on weekends. We learned a lot about life in India through our wonderful host Mrs. Seema Mehta and her husband Anoop Mehta.

How has this experience impacted your future?

Christel: This experience opened my eyes to future projects I am interested in. I would rather go into teacher’s education than working with students, to have a more long-term impact on creative teaching.