As many of you know, I have spent the past few summers volunteering around the world. I gained a Teaching English as a Foreign Language qualification with the aim to help disadvantaged children to gain an education, something which I believe every child is entitled to. My journey started in Morocco when I was sixteen. It was here that I first worked with a charity in some of the poorest parts of the country, volunteering in schools, orphanages and a hospice. This July, I will be flying to Sri Lanka where I will be volunteering primarily in a school and also doing some outreach work in the wider community.
As so many children are born into poverty it means they are not only unable to afford school fees, but children as young as three are required to work to support their families. The ability to speak English is increasingly important in Sri Lanka. The two main sources of income come from tourism, and migrant workers going to the Middle East. Both occupations require the ability to speak English – the world’s global language. However, the level of English teaching in government schools is limited. In fact, class sizes are large and the teachers’ English speaking skills are by no means perfect.
The first aim of my trip to Sri Lanka is to continue the work of other volunteers, by encouraging students to develop the skills they need to achieve their future goals. Through conversing with fluent, native English speakers can greatly improve their language skills, essential for future employment. I believe in equality and want to provide the same opportunities to the poorer children of Ambalangoda, as their wealthier peers. The families in these villages have nothing, yet the children still remain hopeful for change and are optimistic for the future.
The second goal of my trip is to continue the work of volunteers at local orphanages in South West Sri Lanka. Volunteers are truly the heart of these orphanages, brightening up the lives of young children, making a vital and important contribution to their daily lives.
My role will be to encourage and care for these children, providing them with much needed confidence and helping maximise their potential. These projects provide a much needed safety net for these vulnerable children, the more help and encouragement they can get from volunteers, the better and brighter their future.
The presence of volunteers gives the children an insight into different cultures; a global perspective they greatly benefit from. I want to use creativity and knowledge to help these eager young minds reach their true potential.
Please help me to raise money so that I can contribute towards supplies for local schools. The money I manage to raise will go a long way towards basic school supplies, textbooks and ultimately enriching the English speaking environment in these schools.
If you have the opportunity to venture out to a place of unknown, go. Don’t look back. We were not born to stay in one place. You never know what you may see, learn or understand.
Below is a link to a blog I began to write after my first trip to Tanzania in 2013. https://carriewatsonx.wordpress.com/ (Apologies for the awful spelling and grammar-I used to write these posts on my lunch break whilst working at John Lewis and cannot find the login to update)
Please contribute what you can, no matter how small as every little really does help and go along way.
All my love, Carrie xxx