Volunteer Report ‘Christin 2012′
My name is Christin and I am working as a volunteer in Berlin for HELP Jamaica! e.V. The reason why I travelled to Cassava Piece and supported the Education Center is, to make my information more authentic during promotional work. My goal was to give people some more good reasons to collaborate with or donate towards HELP Jamaica! e.V.
MY ARRIVAL IN CASSAVA PIECE
In the middle of January 2012, I arrived in Kingston. It was my first journey to Jamaica and I was excited about everything. Munchy and Nicardo picked me up from the airport and I even enjoyed the drive from the airport to Cassava Piece, of course there were some fears. But as I can prejudge, those fears just dissolved during the first few days, because of the nice community in Cassava Piece and because of all the friendly staff at the HELP Jamaica! Education Center. From the very first second, I did fell in love with the island.
We arrived straight at the HELP Jamaica! Education Center, after they picked me up from the airport. It was late afternoon but there were still some children left at the Center and Hille, Mr. Palmer and some of the staff members: Daren, Nicardo and Tamar. After the short visit in the Center, I met Popa and we went down the Gullyside in Cassava Piece, were Popa did show me my room and the place where I was going to stay the next three months. Popa did everything, to make me feel comfortable and save like in a kind of home. Everybody just gave me a warm welcome.
THE FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The first few days were difficult. It was quite hard to understand the Patois. I did not know at all how to get the things I needed, how to go somewhere, how everything works here in Jamaica. It seemed to me as a completely different world and as I knew before: an island includes both, positive and negative sides. Everything was new, the people in the community seemed curious and kind of skeptical. That made me feel strange in the beginning, but I also could understand those reactions. But as I said, after all it did not take a long time until the people respected and accepted me as a new member and friend of the community. Also Munchy has given me a lot of support the first few days and before I could even realize that I am living in Kingston now, I already got used to almost everything.
During my first week, I had time to get used to the everyday life in the HELP Jamaica! Education Center. I had time to get to know the children, staff members and the timetable. The kids were interested and curious about everything. It seemed that they are really in the mood to learn something or everything. The kids were all very cute, even they had their „rude-times“. I mainly assisted the children with reading, doing homework and played some ring games with them. With every new day, I liked the idea and concept of the HELP Jamaica! Education Center in Cassava Piece more and more. It was such a nice feeling to see the kids having fun and getting educated simultaneously. Thanks to all the staff members giving me time to find my own position in the everyday life and in the team.
DURING MY TIME AS A VOLUNTEER
During my second week, I additional started with my weekly „healthy living class“. I usually was supported by other staff members, especially by Tamar. I taught the children everything about healthy living and a part of anatomy, but the focus was on healthy food. The weekly repetition I designed in form of a quiz, as the children just love competitions. In theory they learned and kept important facts in mind and I would like to see them transferring their knowledge more into reality ; ).
The following weeks proceed similarly. Anytime, I just tried to bring in my qualities self-responsibly and supported the work in the Center wherever and whenever it was necessary. During the three months, the main task of my voluntary work was to keep my class, to assist the children with reading and support them with doing their homework. Furthermore, I registered and coded the books and supported the organization of the first anniversary celebration. I participated in the staff meetings and was writing the minutes sometimes. I supported the Education Center staff with painting the wall from the new classroom and keeping the Center clean. I gave support and often got supported by other staff members. I sometimes helped out with the daily registration of the kids, who are attending the Center. In addition, I could realize a social research, together with Kim (another volunteer from Germany), which included promotional work for the HELP Jamiaca! Education Center too.
IN THE END, THERE ARE SOME THINGS I WANT TO SAY
It was a pleasure for me enjoying and supporting the Education Center. It was lovely to take care of the children and work together with a lot of nice people. I really appreciate the experience of the incredible inter-cultural exchange. Thanks to everybody who made it possible, that I felt comfortable from the very first moment.
Even the life in Kingston can be challenging and „ruff“, and that should never be forgotten. Nevertheless I really had a nice time, because „is not where we live, is how we live!“.
THANKS TO EVERYBODY WHO WAS A PART OF IT.
Education is the key: big up yourself Tamar aka Tired Tamar, keep up your painting/art talent, big up yourself Daren aka Durable Daren, keep up your cheerfulness, especially during your famous quizzes, big up yourself Nicardo aka Notorious Nicardo, I can just say „yaaaaooowww“ for the energy god, big up yourself Shaneal and Shaneek, you really doing an important and great job, big up all the volunteer teachers: Mr. Morrison, Mrs. Wanliss, Mrs. Lutan, Ms. Passard, big up yourself Munchy aka Musical Munchy, you always keep everything in mind, thank you for that, big up yourselves Popa, Carps and Marc and last but not least big up yourself Mrs. Chin.
Last but not least: BIG UP YOURSELVES BIRTE aka Busy Brite AND HILLE. You made everything possible. HELP JAMAICA EDUCATION CENTER CASSAVA PIECE, always a good cause to think and talk about. Education for a change. I would do it again and again…
Youtube Slideshow by Christin