Why did you decide to volunteer with GLA in Thailand?
Victoria: I always wanted to volunteer abroad but was always too young to do so! When I was finally ready, I soon realized that finding the perfect program wouldn't be easy. In fact, when you look for a volunteer program on Google, you are confronted with an enormous amount of associations and choosing the best one isn't easy. I choose Global Leadership Adventures because of their approach to volunteering, it's not just about community service but there are also learning opportunities and a fun vacation all in one! They also had a Thailand trip which I was thrilled about since my dream was to discover Asia. As I looked further into what GLA was all about I knew I had to go!
Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.
Victoria: Our day to day activities changes since we worked in a home for refugee women from Laos and two orphanages.At the women's home we usually moved sand and wood, made soap, fed the animals, or worked in the vegetable garden. Whereas in the children's care home and house for HIV children, we played with kids after having painted the walls, redecorated the outdoors play area or moved bricks.
That was our typical morning. In the afternoon we visited different places like the school for autistic children, the school for the blinds, and the prostheses foundation headquarters to learn and interact with the locals. I learned so much during those activities and it profoundly changed me!
What made this experience unique and special?
Victoria: What made this whole experience unforgettable was the people I met! My new friends, the staff , the children, and all the locals made this trip the best I could have ever hoped for. I will never forget a single one of them because the laughs I had, the stories I heard. The experience I shared with them are engraved in my memory thanks to GLA.
How has this experience impacted your future?
Victoria: Not only did this program change me as a person, making me less shy, more open to new things and curious about the diversity of cultures in this world, it also impacted my educational and professional plans. Before my trip I had no idea what I wanted to do in life, but as soon as I came back I knew I wanted to make a career were I could continue to help people and travel. I am now planing on going to university to hopefully study peace and conflict studies as well as international relations so that one day I can work in that field.