Happiness is.....

Impact: 10
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Value: 10
Safety: 10

Bonnie – 2015
“It was a privilege to volunteer at Liberty Children's Home. Liberty offers a safe, healthy environment for children that provides them with the opportunity to grow both physically and emotionally. The children are well cared for and are really happy. There is a real sense of family and as in any family, the children are learning the skills that they will need when they become independent. The children were all very respectful, polite and receptive to the volunteers.

What an amazing opportunity to share both skills and love with those who have had a difficult start in life. Happiness is....volunteering at Liberty Children's Home.

What was a typical day at the project?
A typical day at Liberty would start at 7 a.m. with providing assistance in the kitchen to serve breakfast to the children. After breakfast, I would walk with the children to their bus stop and then return to the dining hall to do the post-breakfast clean up, i.e. washing dishes, cleaning tables, sweeping and scrubbing the floors. At midmorning I would assist with packing and delivering the hot lunches to the schools. I would also work one-on-one with a young boy who was unable to attend school and help him with homework and additional skills training (phonics/reading).

After lunch, I would assist with clean up and then assist where needed. (Washing the kitchen walls was necessary at this time as they were preparing for renovations to the area.) After school I would help the children with their homework and if time permitted, play with them before preparation for supper. Supper routine was the same as other meals. I also assisted with laundry and shampooed the dogs. Unless there was something specific to do, my day usually ended about 6:30 p.m.

What did you find most rewarding?
I found the interactions with the children most rewarding but I also found it fulfilling to be able to assist with the 'hands-on' tasks, i.e. helping with the cleaning. Getting to know the staff was a real privilege as well.

What did you find most challenging?
I can't really say that I found any part of the placement challenging. I liked Agatha's approach – not micromanaging but letting us seek out where we could best fit in.

What advice would you give others considering doing this placement?
My advice would be for them to be prepared to jump in right away and start helping. Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do. There is plenty of work to be done and the folks are really appreciative of any help they get. Get to know the kids and the staff, laugh, have fun and work as hard as you can in the time that you are there.

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad?
Volunteering abroad forces us to have a reality check. What are the most important things in life?

Why did you choose PoD and would you recommend us to others?
Yes! I found Pod on line and I liked the history of the organization and also the fact that it was based in England. I have great respect for the British and their morals and work ethic. I wasn't disappointed. I hope to be able to return to Liberty.”

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would