Our Internation Volunteers In NI Schools!
“I am so happy to be involved in the educational side of volunteering with Tools For Solidarity.” – Rafaela, an International volunteer.
Now that the streets of Belfast are back to their vivid life again and students are returning to their studies, it means that our ESD Programme is back to schools!
Every year our ESD Officer – Roisin – tries to involve in the programme as many people from the organisation as possible. It helps our international volunteers to see the different sides of the volunteering experience and provides an opportunity for local youth to participate in the valuable work.
Rafaela came to Belfast only this summer but already managed to cover a few sessions at local schools. We decided to ask her a few questions regarding her experience so far!
How do you enjoy the programme in general? How many schools have you visited?
I have been to 2 different primary schools here in Belfast, and I really enjoy the process. The engagement the pupils have towards the programme that we provide is incredible! They are interacting with our materials and ask different questions as much as we allow them to be curious about everything we share with them. I am so excited to be back to school because I start to feel like a child in a classroom again and it is obviously a good feeling. I cannot wait for other sessions as I want to take some responsibility and deliver a part of the lesson to a class, so I am looking forward to this moment.
What do you enjoy the most about the sessions?
I like our sessions as all of them are covering essential topics for children to know. Apart from the learning part of the lesson, I like that it is all very interactive. It definitely keeps children focused and engaged with the information we provide. It is incredible how much they remember and, for example, they managed to memorise my name, where I am from and what I do here! They are really open to getting to know me and my culture. Sometimes they ask me how big my country is, what is our cuisine and do I like local food!
Would you like to be a part of the programme in the future?
Yes, I definitely want to take part in other sessions as it is quite funny, joyful and something that I have never done before. Apart from it, it is really important that we receive great feedback from children, teachers and school personnel about our sessions, it definitely helps us to keep going and keep delivering the sessions.
The last question is what skills do you think you have learnt and might learn in the future by providing these sessions to children in schools?
You can learn a lot from children. Their point of view is really simple and yet different. They do not have any complexity, they just say what they believe in and do not worry about silly stuff we, as adults, worry about. Therefore, I have learnt to listen to different age groups as you can always find something interesting for yourself.
If you want to learn more about our ESD programme, check our social media channels for new posts about it! As for now, if you have any questions, contact us today!