April 19, 2011
Friends of Little Field Home has become a huge part of my life ever since I started volunteering for them and I am so happy. I originally started off as a 6-month volunteer through an internship program at my school. Now, I am about to prepare for my second 6-month trip with this organization. Friends of Little Field Home has an incredible mission to help the small country of Malawi, Africa. They not only want to help by donating and funding projects, but the organization continues to become a part of the community by interacting with the locals in such a unique way. They allow their volunteers to fully submerge themselves in the rich culture of Malawi which, personally, gave me a first-hand experience into the Malawian way of life. During my time there, I lived like a Malawian; I hauled water on my head, cooked with firewood, and lived with the very basic necessities. It was the most rewarding experience I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. I was given a lot of creative responsibility allowing me to make my own lesson plans for the children and to use my own ideas for specific projects. This is something that was very exciting to me. I can wholeheartedly say that this organization is definitely something to rave about and will always be a part of my life.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
the way they interact with the community. Most organizations are so big that they send volunteers on a perfected schedule which do not allow them to engage much with the community and the people. This organization makes sure that the volunteers are involved in everything the community does. For example, it is part of the program where the volunteers go out to surrounding villages and deliver HIV Awareness presentations. Volunteers interact and can bond with the locals in such a close way.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
improve the way the volunteers can learn the language. Before departure, volunteers are given a list of common phrases and words in Chichewa (national language of Malawi). It is very difficult to learn and hard to communicate without knowing the language. It would be nice if the organization had tapes the volunteers could buy (part of fundraising maybe) so they can learn or hear the language before they leave. Other than that, I would not change a thing.
Volunteer & I taught English to a wide range of ages on-site at the orphanage.