Volunteer, YLDC Laos
I always hoped that I will be useful to the world. Fondacio gave me this opportunity by allowing me to teach English in the YLDC formation program in Vientiane. Arriving in a totally new continent, in context where different culture could seems stressing and troubling. I was so warmly welcomed by this population, that I did not have the time to think about all these things. The YLDC program in Laos started 2 months before my arrival, so I arrived for the pilot program, which started in August 2016. Because I don’t have experience in teaching, I arrived at my first session totally stressed. I was younger than most of the students, and I worried about so many details. During this first session, the students made me feel comfortable, I never worried again.
Fondacio trusted me more than I trusted myself, and they gave me some parts of the program coordination such as administration, communication and promotion.
Living in a community with the students has been a real chance for me. I arrived as the only volunteer and I was afraid about feeling lonely. Eating, praying, playing, living together made the relationship get stronger every day. I was not only a teacher but I was also a nurse, a mother and a friend.
I came here to give my time, my energy and my skills, but I received much more. I received patience, love, and empathy. Through the program, I’ve discovered a new me which is a more confident and a more organized me.
Now I really feel like a member of the Fondacio Asia’s family, and I thank James for letting me be a part of all this.
Volunteer, YLDC Philippines
It had been a while since I wanted to feel useful: other than in my office business life. For a year I was volunteer and supervised YLDC Philippines. It was to help and to manage the program team on a daily basis. Every morning, I woke up with the desire to help YLDC project develop and its students to progress each day a little more to achieve their goals, and also to exchange with them: their pains, their dreams… A year to know myself and perhaps know how to feel more useful in our society.
IFF Asia volunteer
My name is Hannah, I am 20 years old and I come from Germany. Last year in 2015 I was an Intern at Iffa for about four months. At first I was afraid of getting in this completely new experience. But the community made it very easy for me to catch up and gave me a second home. The experience of community life gave me a new view about living faith. It is much about being with people. I realized for myself that I was kind of hiding my own believing and I took home with me that it is a good thing to stand up for what you think is right even though your society don’t think that way. Especially the evening prayers touched my heart and gave me a new understanding about what living with god is actually about. I was really impressed by your way to try to change the world and doing good in the name of god and your fully commitment to it. Thank you very much IFFA for the time I was allowed to stay with you all. May god bless you and let you do your work for many many more successful years!
Volunteer in YLDC Myanmar
MY EXPERIENCE AS A VOLUNTEER TEACHER WITH FONDACIO YLDC YANGON IN MYANMAR
On a brief visit to Yangon in March 2016 I explored how I might find volunteering opportunities once again in Myanmar (Burma), having had prior volunteering experience in that country in 2011. After some chatting and information-exchanging online, I decided to go ahead and volunteer with Fondacio in Yangon, more specifically, to teach English on their Youth Leadership and Development Center (YLDC).
I arrived on Friday 17 June and began my teaching on the Monday. Fondacio trusted me to come up with a course of teaching to suit the particular level and needs of this batch of 24 young people from various parts of Myanmar.
I suppose the challenging aspect is the fact that even within the group there are variations in the levels of competency. That said, it has been a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable experience! This is more remarkable given the now acknowledged fact that under successive governments in recent history in Myanmar the education system has become run down and is now only beginning to struggle to its feet again. But this does fully not explain the enormously positive experience I have had as a volunteer teacher at Fondacio in Yangon.
The students I have had here are genuinely committed to the human and Christian ideals that motivated them to come here from the start. There is a naturalness, a spontaneity and a warmth about how people relate to each other here in this organisation; this is not only to be found among the students but is due in large part too to the influence of their leaders (formators and interns). Fondacio YLDC Yangon is not simply a workplace or a centre of learning or training. It may sound cliched, but it is also a family. In an additional sense, people here feel part of the larger Fondacio family (IFFAsia) spread across other Asian countries. Some have had the chance to work and live in the Philippines, for example. They have returned with excellent English skills and the ability to take on a new leadership role themselves in Fondacio. I know that they will also bring these skills with them in their lives and careers going forward.
They have completed their vocational programme with me and others who have taught and trained them since June; they will now go on to learn more about leadership. I will certainly be in touch with these admirable students while I am in Myanmar and I look forward to being present at their graduation from the programme in late December. I am indebted to Roger, Maddy and all the ‘team’ here for allowing me to be part of their effort, for letting me one of the family !”