My name is Sean Molloy and i reside in Brisbane, Australia. I have been with The Love Company as a volunteer since the 3rd of December 2012. I have enjoyed every minute spent helping the children progress in their education and extra-curricular activities. As soon as I arrived to meet the children at their home I felt very welcomed and Ra-yul was the first to grip my hand. It took me a while to learn all of their names but soon it became easy and they each have a unique personality and smiles from ear to ear. I am learning just as much from these amazing children as I hope I am teaching them. My time is divided between visiting the children at their home and teaching a variety of subjects in English at the local government school, Shree Barahi Primary and Secondary. This is also the school that nearly all of the love company children attend. The first day teaching at the school was daunting as I have had very limited teaching experience previously and I wondered how the children would react to my arrival. They were all very friendly, receptive and interested in knowing where I came from and who I was. The children, even at primary school level have a good grasp of the English dialect, which is a credit to Shree Barahi and its teaching staff. My confidence is growing each day along with my very limited command of the Nepali language. The students are very intelligent in their allocated subjects and it is my hope to try and bridge the gap between their knowledge of the same subjects taught in Nepali and English.
The teachers at the school are dedicated and loving people who all strive to give their students an excellent education combined with a promising future. It was a privilege and an honour to work at the school and I hope that future volunteers (with or without teaching experience) have the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of people and are rewarded knowing they are contributing to the development of these brilliant young Nepali children.
If a consistent number of international volunteers and teachers were to spend some time in Pokhara they would have the chance to explore the region’s rich and vibrant culture, delicious ‘lake-side’ cuisine and unforgettable views of the Himalayan region, made perfect for hiking and trekking adventures. But most of all, volunteers would have the chance to invest in the future of these bright young children who love to learn, and it is by far the most rewarding and satisfying feeling to contribute in such a small way.
A word of advice to those interested, it is important to bring some instructional subject material to teach from. Most of the teaching material is predominantly in Nepali so it pays to come prepared. In saying this I adapted quite easily teaching English subjects to students of various age groups once I knew their level of the spoken and written language. I would recommend this type of adventure to anyone wishing to visit or holiday in Pokhara Nepal and it is my hope to return again one day.
Thank you to Krishna and the Love Company for this incredible opportunity, I feel truly blessed to have met you all.
We have had an amazing time at the orphanage – challenging, frustrating at times… but most of all fun and rewarding.
We were lucky enough to all be here at the same time and forge together well as a team: Nathan and Janet from New Zealand, Rebecca from Sweden, and Mike from England.
We worked hard to make a number of small but significant changes that have made a major difference to the environment, atmosphere and general wellbeing of the children. Central to this was making the orphanage feel more like a home rather than a school or institution, which we did by:
– Turning the classroom into a playroom by removing the bench tables and seating to the dining room, putting down carpet on the concrete floor, putting cushions on the floor, putting up posters and pictures at the children’s level, equipping the room with building blocks, toy chest, reading books, colouring-in and other arts materials. This has become a fun room where the children love to go and play.
– Putting tables into the dining room for the children to sit at for meals. This has made mealtimes a more social event, with quieter and better behaviour.
– Putting carpet down in the children’s bedroom and giving them their own chests for their clothes and personal items.
– Improving the hygiene level e.g. Getting towels placed in the bathroom area, putting a stool at the handbasin so children can reach into it, getting a set of racks by the basin for toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap, ensuring soap is always available in the bathroom and kitchen.
– Putting in place a bedtime routine that changed what was a chaotic time into a peaceful, happy, settling time. This includes time for washing hands, faces, teeth, legs and feet, before spending half an hour reading with the children on their beds and settling them with one book each. The children are now quietly going off to sleep without argument.
– Providing milk and fruit on a daily basis.
– Getting the children warm leggings and stockings for winter.
– Providing lots of tender loving care and attention in addition to establishing boundaries and sanctions to promote good behaviour. The children are now playing much more cooperatively, are sharing more, there is less hitting, crying, destructive behaviour or tantrums, with the place being much calmer and happier as a result.
What we were most excited about was the dramatic improvement in the children’s English. We increased verbal interaction with the children through use of play, arts and crafts, and reading with the children. They love the books with ones like We’re Going on a Bear Hunt being great hits – they are able to recite lines and recognize words, colours and objects.
We very much hope that future volunteers will continue in maintaining what has been achieved so far. Detailed guidelines have been left in the volunteers’ rooms to explain daily routines, provide profiles of the children and advice on what to do.
May your time at the orphanage be as much fun, and as rewarding as we experienced it!