Ice gives back to her community with INTO Giving
Ice recently volunteered at the Poonsab Preschool, a community preschool for children from the slums of Bangkok, Thailand, that is supported by INTO Giving.
As she is from Bangkok, she decided to dedicate some of her holidays to volunteer at the school. This is what she had to say about the experience…
I first found out about the Poonsab Preschool from INTO Giving. As an international student from Thailand who has benefitted from a good education and been given a great opportunity to study abroad, I felt that helping these children would be the least I could do. So, I volunteered during my Christmas break when I went back to Thailand.
On my first day, I arrived at 7am and was greeted by a group of kids who were watching morning cartoons. They all stared at me with a confused look, which I thought was pretty funny. Then the head teacher took me on a quick tour.
The school is quite small for the number of children; There is a kitchen, three toilets and an all-purpose area which is used for nearly everything – canteen, morning exercise, teaching, storytelling, sleeping and playing.
There are four teachers, including the head teacher, and one volunteer to look after and teach 96 children. Sometimes it was pretty chaotic during play time! The head teacher explained that the students are divided into four groups according to their age.
At first, introducing myself and getting involved with the students was quite challenging as they are not familiar with strangers or volunteers, since they all come from a small community and have known each other from a very young age. However, after a couple of hours they were so welcoming and cheerful.
Most of the time I had to take care of those who had difficulty learning, needed extra attention or were quite hard to control. At first they seemed to be naughty because they rarely listened to anyone, but it turned out that they were actually extremely nice and loveable.
One of the most precious memories I have of Poonsab is when one of the girls, Pim, shared her snack with me even though she had just a few of them left. Every time I left the school, she always asked when I would be coming back. Another child named Kun ran to greet me every morning with a big hug and a smile on his face. Then there was Kwan, a little girl from nursery who always danced with me during the morning exercises.
I learned a lot from my time spent volunteering at the Poonsab Preschool. For example, how to cope with any unexpected situation, deal with a crying two year old on her first day of school, and take care of ADHD children. The most significant thing that my visit taught me was the importance of giving back to society.
It was the most exciting memory of my Christmas trip back to Thailand.
Thank you for sharing your amazing volunteering story with us, Ice!
Want to study medicine? Check out these courses: International Foundation in Pharmacy, Health and Life Sciences at INTO Univeristy of East Anglia, International Foundation in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at INTO Newcastle University or International Foundation in Pharmacy at INTO Manchester.
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