Thursday, week 2 of my individual project. Today, I have been rather tired. For good reason!
Yesterday, I spent all morning volunteering at a local community building where Ukrainian refugee children are getting elementary schooling. This has been a project set up by one of the local elementary schools wanting to provide proper education for these refugee children. One of the local Facebook groups shared a message looking for volunteers to help out, and I was one of the first to show interest. Before I knew it, the project had started and I was scheduled for a Wednesday. More specifically, yesterday!
This is where the story becomes interesting. I personally have absolutely zero experience in working with children. I am the youngest of my family, and none of my friends has made the step into parenthood yet. The whole idea of standing in front of a class of rowdy, loud children frightens me… It truly does! I truly believe I am just not good with children, because how could I be? I have never had any experience with them!
So… Why did I decide to volunteer?
Well, the answer is quite simple. I care. I care about the well-being of those children. I care about quality education for everyone. I care about giving them an environment they feel safe in.
I did not volunteer to lead the class. I volunteered to help out while a teacher gives a class. I just wanted to lend a hand where I could. This is one of the few international environments that present themselves in a small town like mine, and I did not waste time to offer any help I could.
That being said, I had some proper anxiety the morning I had to leave my house to take my bike to the community building. However, there was one thought that kept popping up in my mind that helped me through it: “You are doing this to test your limits. You wish to expand your comfort zone, right? This is it! This is where you go beyond your comfort zone!”
I can proudly say this first morning was WAY beyond my comfort zone. I was left in a big group of children, one teacher, and two other volunteers. Everyone spoke Ukrainian to each other, except me… I did not speak one word Ukrainian. Yet, it was much less scary than I thought it would be. It was quite uneventful and I was able to help with basic tasks while mostly being a translator where needed.
Today, I am absolutely exhausted, as this experience was still pushing the limits of my body after the flu. However, I look back at yesterday with a smile. I pushed my boundaries and proved myself that the demons I create in my head are often way worse than the actual situation. That is some knowledge I hope to use more in the future.
Never want to miss blogs?
Sign up to the monthly newsletter!