When i Started Searching for “Volunteer at an Orphanage” Programs
As I have mentioned in my previous post, the idea of helping out at an orphanage remained with me.
By that time my plan was to finish university and probably head to the judicial institute or the diplomatic academy or any center that would qualify me for a job in this field right after. Due to that initial plan, I thought that time away from my country would not be affordable in my case. Every minute counts as they say the moment you are handed your Bachelor’s degree and every step you take must be strategic. However, that was not the case for me. I was surprised to find myself steering towards what I am passionate about despite the voice inside me. Every application to the most sought after positions and places have conducted interviews with me that worked well until the very last step, yet right before the day I am assigned to sign a contract or commence a job some unexpected reason would be brought up. I went from one low expectation to lower, it almost became a routine just dragging myself to do such and such because that is what was expected of me despite the fact that deep down inside I knew whenever I was called up for an interview it was simply to fill up numbers on their pages, reach certain targets of interviewing UAE nationals or un tick a task they had in their lists for the day.
You might say: What’s that voice inside you?
Well, it’s the one that stems from society, from what society had made us believe or programmed us to be as. Old definitions of what a graduate must do that have been ingrained in the minds of many especially those of an older generation. Not going from university to jobs and promotions just did not add up to them.
Luckily this period of self-conflict, depression and slight anger has lead me to believe that trusting my gut is not a bad thing and going for what I am passionate about is not a mistake.
I have come to the conclusion that if what I want to do is volunteer work in a certain field for long periods of time then that is what I shall do and I will do it with my whole heart.
There I was again searching on the internet and going through the different NGO’s and volunteer abroad websites. What I found was that most of them required one to stay for a minimum or two weeks at least if the program involved supporting children in anyway. Which was understandable to me and also stated in most websites that children do get attached and constant changes around them is not encouraged.
While others, who arranged teaching programs at orphanages or at schools that needed support with staff, have required a certain language certificate that can be acquired through an online course and examination. At that point I was moved by the educational option even more, I figured two weeks of helping a child add a brick to their knowledge gap is the greatest gift one can give. This could help them have a better future.
Up to now I had the time issue figured out, I would take as much time as I need to do things the right way and help children. In addition, I decided what I’ll help with shall be education. Last but not least, choosing which country to go for…
I was happy to find a UAE based volunteering abroad organization that was working on building schools (construction) and teaching Arabic was another option in Zanzibar. I was so happy and I did not hesitate to apply.
So before starting the program I decided to fly to Arusha first and pass by one of the orphanages most volunteers seemed to help at. I brought some sweets and chocolate from back home to distribute to the children as well as a few toys.
The moment I arrived at the orphanage it was morning time I was greeted with warm hugs and smiles. I got to spend some time with them playing, distributing the sweets and taking memorable pictures. Afterwards I got to meet one of the staff members at the orphanage who was so helpful and allowed to guide me through a quick tour which I asked for and recorded (with permission) to see their living condition and have a brief idea of how their day to day routine is operated. Right after the tour was done and I was standing near by the car saying my goodbyes to all the staff there I was surprised by one of the boys running from a far distance to come and give me a hug that lasted longer than I expected. I held back my tears and promised myself that I will try to change at least the life of one child in this orphanage to the better.
From there as I headed to my catch my flight to Zanzibar I left with an idea of coming back next time to distribute clothes that would help them deal with this cold weather and try to provide education too.
To be continued…