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July 19, 2014

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July 19, 2014

You will not provide life saving medical treatments nor change the circumstance of these families by giving them money. No, with Youthlinc you give something far more important to the people of other countries: education. The best way to change someone's circumstance is to give them a tool they can use for the rest of their lives, and that is knowledge. You see the value and strength education gives these people and they are so appreciative for your lessons and your help in providing another school. I traveled to Cambodia with Youthlinc to a small village in Pusat and worked to build a preschool and provide health education. I know that the availability of a preschool in the village with truly change the villager's circumstances and ability to learn, and that is something they will always be able to use for generations to come.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It is definitely more of a trip for youth. As an adult in her 20s, I would of liked to have a bit more freedom to explore but they put restrictions on this which is understandable when traveling with teens.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 15, 2014

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July 15, 2014

I went with youthlinc on a humanitarian trip for two weeks this June.
We worked with the Burmese refugees in kuraburi, Thailand. Our construction site was the Burmese learning center where all the kids kindergarten through sixth grade attend school. The school was built two years ago, but ran
out of money. There is a team going in July to finish the projects that we started. The school has a front wall, but no back or side walls. We halfway finished the back wall. We planted bushes along the walls that the kids will be able to pick fruit off of to eat. We tiled the floors in their classrooms and kitchen. We patched a hole in the roof so it wouldn't rain in the classroom anymore. We also fixed up and repainted their playground equipment. Construction was hard. It was very hot and humid. If it wasn't sunny, it was pouring rain. A lot of the work we did was hard manual labor and very repetitive. I cannot tell you how many buckets of rocks I carried, or how much bug and maggot infested trash I scraped up and carried out. There was one day toward the end of the trip that I was getting very sick of hauling stupid buckets of rocks, but I just kept on going. I wasn't in a very good mood, I wad just doing what needed to be done. Mike finally sent us on a water break. I was happy just to have a short break. While I was drinking my water Wiasoo came up to me and wanted to play a little hand game with me. We played for a couple of minutes. Then Oolulai came over and played with me too. In those couple of minutes I was rejuvenated and reminded why I came and who I was doing all this work for. If anyone ever got burnt out or sad, all we had to do was spend a couple minutes with one of those happy little burmese kids and we would be ready to work again. Those kids truly amaze me and I miss them so much.

Not only do we do a construction project, but we also go out into the community and teach health lessons, business lessons, a new skill, and have cultural conversations. I was on the vocational committee, which teaches a new skill. I was able to participate in all of the committees as well. We taught a group of women there how to sew. We donated three sewing machines to them an the business committee help them set up a co-op. I have always loved sewing and have taught many kids to sew at sewing camps in the summer, but this was a whole new experience. We had translators because I don't speak Thai or Burmese. These women and girls were all so eager to learn. They picked it up so fast! We only had to tell one or two ladies what to do and then they would proceed to teach each other. It made our job a whole lot easier, but then we had to come up with extra projects for them since they flew through all of our planned projects.

We also taught English lessons at the school. I was kind of nervous about my lesson. I've taught many kids before, but never ones that didn't speak my language. My lesson went really well though. A lot of the kids were really excited to learn, and the older ones already knew some English. The first grade class was definitely the greatest challenge. There were two kids, Pulapi and Nyete, who were the definite class clowns. They were running all over the place and making the other kids want to cause trouble with them. I had helpers in my classroom to quiet them down so that they would sit through the class. Once they calmed down, everyone else was fine and class went smoothly.

Everyday two youthlinc groups went out into the community. Each group would go into one of the people's homes an their neighbors came over. We gave the health lessons--sanitation, cooking food properly, washing your hands, etc--first. They mostly already knew that they were supposed to do these things, so we just reminded then that when they do it it keeps their families healthier and there is less chance of them getting sick. After the health lesson is the cultural conversation. This was definitely my favorite part. And all we did was talk. We asked questions about their lives, they asked questions about ours. These people have all been through so much. They truly amaze me what they put up with everyday, and they opened their homes to us, which are literally one 10 foot by 12 foot room with a squatter and cooking area out the back door. They don't have much, but they shared with it all with us. The most interesting cultural conversation was when a Burmese woman said that she feels like Americas get to "live to live, but we are just living to survive." Erin asked he how we could help change that. She said that's what is so great about the sewing and business lessons. We are teaching them skills so that they can start their own business and be able to make more money to better their situation.
Youthlinc wants to get away from the classic "handouts" that humanitarians give and change that to giving a "hand up." We do give out many donations while we are there, but we also teach useful skills and learn things from them. It was a true cultural exchange.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 14, 2014

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July 14, 2014

I've absolutely love the mission of Youthlinc and feel the way things are handled on the trips are excellent. It is especially nice peace of mind that on our trip we had a well qualified nurse with us. I saw some really amazing and beautiful places on our end of service year trip to Guatemala. I love that the real focus though is helping students become lifetime humanitarians by serving in their own communities.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Possible change Love Youthlinc Day to be more a community event. Students are fundraising for their own trip, fundraising for their committee, fundraising for love Youthlinc day, and collecting physical donations. While raising funds for the trip and the committe projects are absolutely essential, I would like to see the Love Youthlinc Day not fall onto the students after they have already been selling stuff to or asking donations from everyone they know for their committee projects.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 11, 2014

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July 11, 2014

Youthlinc helped me gain the experience of serving those in need and allowed me
to gain the leadership skills and confiendemce to get to the point where i felt that my service was changing someones life for the better. Youthlinc helped me gain confidence that will translate over into every
other area of my future adult life. I am forever in Youthlinc debt because they gave me the tools that will help me to have a meaningful and joyful exsistance.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would just make sure that mentors and team leaders establish an open and positive environment where all students can have the confidence to share their ideas without worry of being ridiculed.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 8, 2014

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July 8, 2014

This organization does a great job with really helping students become life long humanitarians. After Cambodia with Youthlinc in 2012, I was hooked. I quickly started volunteering in my community and have loved every minute. I thank Youthlinc everyday for the relationships I have made and experiences I have had through volunteering. Youthlinc has taught me many great life lessons such as hard work and being resourceful. Youthlinc also does a great job making me feel safe both in and out of country and they are always very organized. Great experience and I hope to do it yet again!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I honestly wouldn't change a thing. Sometimes I would think the meetings were long, but they really were completely helpful and informational.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 7, 2014

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July 7, 2014

I have been on three humanitarian trips with Youthlinc now. I am always impressed by this organization's efforts to make service sustainable and by their ability to improve on their own service model each year to do even more good. My experiences with Youthlinc have been life-changing and I have seen Youthlinc have this same impact on countless students and adult professionals. I recommend Youthlinc highly to anyone looking for a rewarding service learning experience.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no changes in mind for Youthlinc at this time.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 6, 2014

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July 6, 2014

I loved my experience with Youthlinc! The people I worked with were easy going, fun to be around, hard working, and happy! It introduced me to volunteering weekly here in Utah and it gave me an incredible international experience. When I arrived in country I loved every minute and never wanted to leave. I'd go back right now if I could! My experience taught me so much and has changed my life. Youthlinc is a great program and it increases your desire to serve greatly. I'm very grateful I got to be a part of this organization!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes! The organization is efficient and enjoyable.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 4, 2014

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July 4, 2014

Youthlinc really helped to change my perspective on life in general. It helped me to get over myself and focus not on the inward of myself but the outwards of others. When I did that, I was able to help those around me and not think of myself. Youthlinc has the best participants, mentors, and leaders anyone could ask for. They help you to become the best you, and thats all you can ask for in a humanitarian program.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 3, 2014

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July 3, 2014

It was such a privilege for me to participate in this amazing organization this year! I am so thankful for my Youthlinc experience because it first taught me that there are countless service opportunities right in my own community. I learned that there is always someone nearby who could benefit from even an hour of service. Youthlinc also gave me the chance to embark on the greatest adventure of my life. From travelling internationally, I gained a deeper perspective on and respect for people who live completely different lifestyles from my own. It greatly humbled me and touched my heart to have a few weeks where I could forget about myself and serve others. During my stay in Thailand, I connected with people on a personal level, experienced a new culture, and learned to work hard.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 3, 2014

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July 3, 2014

As a physician, I felt it was time for me to intensify my efforts in educating others on the great field of healthcare. So many have taught me so much throughout my professional career and I wanted to share this knowledge. My desire on this trip was:
1) To educate my team and those we served
that by taking better care of ourselves we can come to take care of others better;
2) To impress upon our team that there are many things we can do to help others;
3) To provide health education on things that could be sustained by those living in Peru after we left;
4) For those we served to know that we truly cared about them and wanted to improve their lives in important ways;
5) For all of us to learn how by working together we become far more effective than if we tried to accomplish these things on our own.
The strength of Youthlinc is that they have an excellent method of training volunteers before they leave through providing local service. By setting high standards of personal conduct the volunteers become ambassadors of humanitarian service, both in our community and worldwide.

Sincerely,
Jerry Sonkens, M.D.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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