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!
Lovely to hear that you decided to help, as you know you cant grow within the comfort zone. You face things even if you are scared/ have concerns I am proud that you have that character trait.