Start to feel as a Teachers Without Borders volunteer
Elisa. I decided to become a volunteer for Teachers Without Borders because I think that it is the best way of helping people in need. The main goal for Teachers Without Borders- network is to export educational knowledge to developing countries and fragile situations and this way to make a positive outcome on the countries educational system. I truly believe that sharing what you know is a great way of helping others.
Diego. I decided to become a volunteer for Teachers Without Borders because I believe this organisation does an extraordinary work towards quality education in fragile countries and in emergency situations throughout the world. Education has the enormous potential to empower people to transform their realities through the acquisition of skills, knowledge and values that would have benefits at personal, local and global levels.
Elisa. I am going to work in Nepal. I have not visited Nepal before so this will be a journey to remember. Due to my exchange semester in Indonesia a few years ago as well as my previous travels I have already fallen in love with Asian culture. As a country Nepal appeals to me because of its beautiful mountains, historical temples and of course – good food. On the upside Nepal is a very rich country in its culture as it has multiple languages and religions. I have heard so many times that Nepalese people are genuinely kind and I am so excited to see this with my own eyes. On the downside, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia and it faces great challenges in inequality. Sadly Nepal was also shaken by a huge earthquake last year and this has had a negative impact on the development of the country. I am hoping to give something back to Asia, as it has already given me so many beautiful experiences.
Diego. My Destination is Haiti. It would be a challenging work but also I am sure it will be truly rewarding. Haiti has suffered from numerous natural and human-made disasters. From many centuries back, the living condition in the country has been harsh. Earthquakes, dictatorships, typhoons, corruption, floods, poverty, cholera, lack of infrastructure, or deforestation, are part of the everyday reality in the country. I chose Haiti because the project is focused on training for primary school teachers, which is the area of work I am most interested due to my background working in primary schools in Spain, Finland and The Philippines.
Main job and duties
Elisa. My main duties are to work with a local non-profit organization which aims to improve the lives of under-privileged, disadvantaged and working children. I also work in co-operation with a technical and vocational school that helps the students to gain expertise in a certain field to improve their employment. All the details concerning my tasks will clarify once I arrive to the country of destination.
Diego. The work will focus mainly in primary teacher training with a special focus on inclusive education, in which there is no discrimination regarding ethnicity, religion, economic background, gender or disabilities. Moreover it would be not just to include all children in the same class but also to promote an education, which is learner-centered, having as the objective to develop the potential of every learner. I will work together with Finn Church Aid and local teachers in order to make a contribution on improving quality education.
The expectations for volunteering period
Elisa: I am hoping to get a better understanding of the everyday life in a developing country where education is not something taken for granted. Living in a Nordic welfare state has given me opportunities that not everyone have. I am lucky to have an education with low expenses. I am also lucky that I can travel around the globe with one of the worlds most valued passports. In Finland where I live it is easy to take education for granted, because it’s available for everyone regardless of their socioeconomic status. As education has proven to be a powerful way of preventing poverty, I think that sharing what I know is the least I can do. I am going to Nepal with an open mind and positive attitude. On my behalf I promise to co-operate with whomever I work with and to respect the cultural norms in the country of destination. If I can make a tiny positive influence on even one life, my personal mission is accomplished.
Diego. Moving to a new context make difficult for me to create reasonable expectations. Expectations can lead to disappointment when the reality does not match your desires before arriving to the country. Therefore I rather prefer to have a positive attitude, be open to new experiences and try my best to make a positive impact wherever I am. I expect to make no harm. I believe the concept of making no harm is crucial when working in new contexts that are not familiar to us. Sometimes people have good intentions and work hard to help others but it might happen that what we think it would be positive to others ended up having a negative impact. In this sense, my main concern is to make no harm; moreover, if I can make a positive contribution to the community then it will be even better.