Volunteer experiences


Faculty of Behavioural, Management & Social Sciences | University of Twente

 

Enschede, in the Netherlands:

 

"On behalf of the tutors of the minor Crossing Borders of the University of Twente we would like to thank you and the WINS organizations for hosting our students. The students’ reflection and field study (research) reports indicate that their period abroad has been a valuable experience and that they have learned a lot, not only from an academic point of view, but particularly also from a personal development perspective.

 We hope we can continue our valuable exchange in the next academic year. "

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 


Jelle Vogels from the Netherlands:  

"The kids and the staff made me so happy, each day again."

Age: 27

 07/08/2016

 

"Three weeks in Widya Guna went so fast. I'm really looking back to a great experience. I have been helping out with the special needs children and they stole my heart!

The positive energy radiates in this place! 

The kids and the staff made me so happy each day again.

Three weeks is only a short time, but I hope I've made a small step forward for some of the children. I had a small, but positive contribution as a child physiotherapist.

I asked Putu Ita what her biggest hobby was, she said: WALKING!!!!!

So I helped out with the first step: Standing up from her wheel chair!

It was heartwarming to see how grateful the children, staff and parents were for the things we did together.

 

My personal take home message is that the best way to help people is to search for what they really need instead of what we think is the best. 

I'll save the positive energy in my heart and will come back again. Thanks everyone who was a part of this great experience and some special thanks to Antoinette Peters and WINS foundation, who helped me out with the preparation and coaching to make the best of these weeks."

Simone Ryaard Olsen and Kirsten Hermann Noehr Larsen from Denmark:

"Once in a lifetime experience!"

Ages:  25 and 24

13/07/2016

 

"We spend two months in Bedulu working with the special needs children, doing our internship. This is an amazing place and we learned a lot from our time there. The kids are so fantastic and gave us the best time and we felt so loved every time we came in the morning and in the afternoon.

The teachers made us feel at home, and where such a big help for us, especially when we needed to translate games, songs, rules or whatever our theme was that day.

We lived at the house of the brother of the manager of the Yayasan, which was so beautiful and very close to Ubud, so of course, we spend a lot of time there too.

The kids at Yayasan Widya Guna taught us to appreciate the small things in life, because they were always so happy and appreciated everything we did with them.

The biggest challenge at this Yayasan, was the kids very different diagnoses. This could sometimes be a challenge, which would force us to think out of the box and make us reevaluate the activities we planned to do.

Although we had an amazing time there, every day after school we needed a nap. We think it’s because you’re always “on” when you’re at the Learning Center, you never have a quiet moment there, always busy with the children. 

But in the end we still loved being there and it was a once in a lifetime experience!"

Emma Cardol from the Netherlands:  "When it was time to leave, I had no desire to go yet!"

Age: 17

 14/06/2016

 

 "Although my time at the organisation was only short, 3 weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed myself! Everyone was very friendly, so I felt right at home, and everyone was very welcoming. This also applies to the town, where everyone was polite and greeted you when you passed them. When I had an accident and I needed to go to the first aid, everyone helped me, which I truly appreciated, since I had no idea what to expect. The school and the children were great too, the children were all very kind, and seemed to like learning too. Because we got no fixed schedule, we were free to do with the children what we wanted to, which caused a very creative and relaxed atmosphere. When it was time to leave, I had no desire to go yet, I could have stayed a lot longer. I surely have intentions to come back when I finish school, and for a longer period. All in all it is safe to say I had a wonderful time in Bali and with the organisation."

Ellen from Holland:  "My dream came true!"

Age: 64

 21/04/2015

 

 "I was volunteering for 7 weeks at the Learning center Yayasan Widya Guna.

 I am 64 years and retired in october 2014 as a human resource manager in a big prison in Holland. I always had a dream to work as a volunteer after my retirement.

 

In the morning I helped out with disabled children. 

In the afternoon I was teaching photography to a group of 15 years old girls.I was deeply touched by the eager for knowledge for learning to take pictures. It's my hobby and they used my reflex camera. They made beautiful pictures for instance of portraits, the river and flowers.  The girls really loved to make pictures of themselves. They also improved their English.We  had a lot of fun.

I recommend VP International, the personal introduction was very well organized.

I learned a lot about the culture of Bali. VIP- International gives you the opportunity to use your skills and to do what you really like, which gives the best results for the children but also for yourself.

Also I would recommend to do volunteer work  to experience the culture of Bali. Bali feels very safe."

 


Ottilie from The Netherlands: "Best experience ever!"

Age: 23

 19/04/2015

 

"Together with a friend I was looking for a volunteer project in Bali. We got in contact with WINS foundation, VIP-International.

Before we left, the foundation helped us arranging everything, our visa, transport, place to sleep, etc.

We stayed in Bali for 2 months. It was the best experience ever. We were helping out with the English teaching in Seraya.

You're free to choose what you want to teach and how you are going to do it. The experience of educating the children and getting to know each other, is amazing.

We stayed at a wonderful family and had our own rooms including bathroom. The family brought us to different ceremonies and explained us everything about the culture of Bali

We did not experience difficulties, because we could always call people from WINS or our own Balinese family. They will always help."

 

 

 

Odyle from The Netherlands: "The kids are eager to learn!"

 Age:21

23-04-2015 till 23-06-2015

 

"I loved being a volunteer in the Yayasan in Seraya. I think it is amazing help out and doing activities with the children to improve their English, in the playfull and fun way we did, because that is the best way for them to learn. Especially the roleplays, they loved that as well. The kids themselves are enthusiastic and eager to learn, which makes it great to be their teacher.

The guesthouses and the family where we stayed, were great as well. The last four weeks of our stay, we slept in the new guesthouse. The view there is amazing. You can fall asleep with the sound of the sea!

My experience with WINS/VIP as an organization is very good. Everything is well arranged, we haven't had any troubles and had a good introduction the first weeks."

Desiree from The Netherlands:  "Beautiful!"

Age: 47

 22/04/2015

 

"I really liked my experience in Seraya, far from the tourist center.

Wayan, the manager is a very smart man and the children were so nice and enthusiastic.

I really felt at home and liked the family.

I wouldn't change anything, but it is good to take initiative by yourself and already do some preparing before. Do what you are good at and combine this with English.

There is in Seraya not so much to do. So it is good if you can make your day and enjoy the daily life there."

Simone Ryaard Olsen and Kirsten Hermann Noehr Larsen from Denmark:

" It was an amazing experience and we would love to do it again!"

Ages:  25 and 24

13/07/2016

 

"We spend three months in Seraya and had the time of our lives!

When we first got to Seraya we had to get used to the location of the school being so far away from everything, but after a day or two, we fell in love with this place. The scenery around the school and where we lived, was breathtaking. 

Wayan and his lovely family treated us like an extra part of their own family and in the class we taught, were the sweetest kids ever. 

 

There were good and bad days in Seraya, but mostly good. Bad days, could be days where everything you planned  somehow couldn’t work out, or days where the kids just wouldn’t listen to what you wanted to teach them, but this wasn’t very often that happened. Another thing we had to get used to is how differently things can be. For a foreigner, the structure that rules on Bali can be really difficult, and this was one of our biggest challenges while we were there.  

The good days though, were amazing because we had so much fun with the kids when we played games with them or when we were just hanging out with them. This was also a good opportunity for us and them to learn about each other’s cultures, the differences and the similarities.

 

Sometimes Wayan and his family took us to different ceremonies and we were so lucky that we also got invited to a Balinese wedding. 

So over all, it was an amazing experience and we would love to do it again!"

 


Matti from Finland: "I feel so lucky I had this opportunity to do my internship in Samsaman. 

Me and my family had really amazing time . It was unforgettable for us!"

Age: 34

 18/05/2017

 

"When I arrived to Samsaman, I really felt welcome end that was really important. 

Ibu Ketut is a really warm person and she helped me really much during my stay. 

Intan, the local teacher, is a great person also and she helped me a lot too. We had long talks about their culture, etc.

I didn´t know what to expect about teaching before a got there. When I started teaching, I realized that the children were ready to learn and they were motivated too. 

I was surprised that there was a big difference of children´s level of English. That was a little bit challenging from a pedagogical point of view. I realized that usually in their local school they sit and learn in an old fashion way. My goal was to motivate children to learn. I used a lot of teaching methods, where they had to use language in class, like lots of discussion in small groups games, etc. When I did sports I wanted to offer fun games and something new too. I included math into sports and English lessons. I planned to teach computer skills.

 I feel so lucky I had this opportunity to do my internship in Samsaman. 

Me and my family had really amazing time . It was unforgettable for us.

Thank you for all the support you gave me and my family". 

 

 

 

Marlies from the Netherlands: "It was an experience that I will never forget and I can recommend it to everyone!"

Age: 24

 25/01/2017

 

"I had a great time at Samsaman. 

I stayed there for seven weeks with three other Dutch volunteers. 

In the afternoon the children came to us and we taught them English. We gave different kind of lessons to teach them English in different ways. Like drama,

games, songs or plays.

They made very funny plays, it was nice to watch! 

To practice with English we let the children write something about themselves, their family and their religion. 

We taught the children how to complement each other.  All the children had twinkles in their eyes when they read the complements, it was so great to see how proud the children were! 

I really enjoyed the lessons and the children, they were always so kind, sweet and cheerful. 

I stayed at a guesthouse and the people there were amazing and so thoughtful! They made me feel like I was at home. I am really thankful for the great time I had at Samsaman and when I’ll get the chance, I’ll go back immediately. It was an experience that I will never forget and I can recommend it to everyone!"

 

 

Adinda from the Netherlands: "I'm grateful for the chance I got to help at the Yayasan and I wish all the children a beautiful future!I

Age: 29

 28/11/2016

 

"When I arrived at Learning Centre Yayasan Eka Chita Pradnyan in Samsaman, it was so different than anywhere I have been during the week before! As we (driver and I) drove from Canggu to Samsaman, the people on the road changed from tourists to locals. And as we drove further it seemed like Uluwatu and Canggu were areas on a whole different island, even though it’s only a one hour drive away from Canggu.

It was a great pleasure meeting the children from yayasan Eka Chita Pradnyan as well as the family where I stayed. 

Because you live next to the Learning Centre, you experience the environment en people from the village in its purest form. 

The manager of the place, Ibu Ketut Sunarmi and her husband (Made) are nice and warm people, so I immediately felt at home.

There are approximately 70 children who come to this Learning Centre (34 children are still looking for a sponsor!), but they are divided in groups by age. So in total there are four groups and there are two groups per day.

I'm grateful for the chance I got to help at the Yayasan and I wish all the children a beautiful future!"

 

Barbarien from the Netherlands: "I will definitely try to go back to Samsaman and recommend it to everyone who would like to do volunteering work!"

Age: 24

 20/06/2016

 

"I stayed for one month at Yayasan Eka Chita Pradnyan in Samsaman, founded by Stichting Indonesië 2007. VIP-International really helped me preparing for my stay and during the two introduction days we talked a lot about the culture differences.

I had a great time in Samsaman! I mainly taught the children English. It was fun to think of ways to make it easier to remember for the children; for example by using songs or playing games. I had to be creative and it never gets boring! The children are also eager to learn and everyday again they are waiting for the lessons to start.

The surroundings of the village Samsaman are beautiful and the backyard basically consists of rice fields! Living in the village is the best way to experience the Balinese life. I could join Ibu Ketut, Made and Trudy (owners of the Yayasan and Dutch founder) to ceremonies, which was really nice and interesting. Made taught me how to ride a scooter so I could go to other cities and to Balian Beach which is only 20 minutes by scooter!

I will definitely try to go back to Samsaman and recommend it to everyone who would like to do volunteering work:)" 

Philip from Australia: "An absolutely exhilarating experience!"  

Age: 67

 15/04/2015

 

"My volunteering experience has been an absolutely exhilarating experience. As a retired director of a construction company, I was looking for something rewarding, I found it!

I have been helping out teaching the children English. The children range in age from eight to 15 years old. Some speak English relatively well, some are absolute beginners. 

However, they were really inspiring and it was an absolute pleasure being part of their lives. 

I have found that every day I was learning more, connecting with the children.

 

My stay in Samsaman was pretty much what I expected, the promises Wins made, they kept.

My homestay at the Centre was a big surprise, very comfortable, bed, and excellent bathroom facilities. Ketut ( the director of the centre) is an excellent cook, she also arranged a motor bike from the local bike shop.

Volunteering while you travel can be hugely rewarding. I would encourage you to find something that fits with your skills. Contact Antoinette and talk about your options.  

 Give it a go and have fun! "

 


Jessica from Australia: "The Perfect Experience"

September 2015, 20 weeks  

 

"Volunteering at Yayasan Widya Sari has to be the most beautiful, eye opening life changing experience for me.

I wish I could find the words to describe how this place made me feel, because then this would probably be one of the most positive reviews out.

 

The way classes are done here is a very good system, very straight forward, lots of fun and very comfortable, allowing new volunteers to get into the flow of things. 

The children are so eager to learn and so loving and happy, so many hugs and new drawings to add to the collection on my wall every day. 

Living right next to your classrooms and in the area of Ketut’s family home you get fully involved in everything happening around you, including things like eating dinner all as a group around the table, going out on a Wednesday night for a beer and to watch the live music and attending ceremonies which i think is really special.

Ketut, Leony, Nyoman and Made really go the extra mile to make this an amazing experience for everyone and support you along the way with anything you need.

Volunteers are just ordinary people who reach out, give a hand and together make a difference that lasts a lifetime. They expect no pay but the value of their work has no limit, rewarded with a simple hug, they plant tiny seeds of love in countless lives. Thank you forever grateful for this perfect experience!"

 


Teunis Sturing from the Netherlands: "One of my best experiences in life so far."

 January 2014 – June 2014

 

 "My time as a volunteer at the WINS Foundation was one of my best experiences in life so far. Never before had I learned so much and met so many new people in just six months.

 Next to speaking English with the people, I learned basic Indonesian words in order to speak with people on the street. I recommend anyone going to Bali to just be open to the people and learn “Bahasa Indonesia” so you can speak a little bit with the local people. This will be a great experience and you will learn a lot from it. I was teaching from January 2014 till June 2014 at the learning center in Kerta. It was lovely working with Mr. Nikolaus Suyasa and Ms. Made Mariawanti who are kind-hearted people, both dedicated to their job and to the WINS’ mission. The communication between the operational manager Mr. Nikolaus Suyasa and volunteers was good at this learning center. He was always ready to help you with everything you needed. It was always easy to contact him or other representatives of the organization. Teaching the children was delightful, walking into the classroom while they greet you in their best possible English “Good morning” always made me smile. All of the children were eager to learn and listened to me when I was explaining something. 

 

Since I have met several operational managers of WINS, I saw that there is definitely a mutual respect between volunteers and operational managers at the WINS Foundation. Volunteers listen to what the operational managers have to say and the operational managers listen to what the volunteers have to say. It was also interesting to see that each volunteer has his or her own skills. During my time at the learning center I worked with several other volunteers to help and teach the children. I was staying with an Indonesian family that lived only 20 minutes from the learning center. They were some of the sweetest persons I have ever met and treated me as I was part of the family. Even one day when I became sick, they brought me to the doctor and made sure I got the right medication. Staying with this family was very nice and I enjoyed every day of it. So I would recommend it to every person who is volunteering in Kerta. 

 

A key thing someone has to remember in Bali is to be flexible, since time is “no time” in Bali. It was sometimes difficult to make appointments with people since they often forgot the appointment or something else came up. I had to get used to this because it was very different compared to the meaning of time in the Western world (the Netherlands). A huge advantage was that Balinese people are very open to tourists which made it easy to get in touch with local people.

 

Concluding, it was surprising to see how well organized the WINS Foundation is. By providing basic education to these children, WINS contributes to sustainable development in Bali. It was amazing to see how important basic education is for children in such a developing country as Indonesia. My time in Bali was an unforgettable experience and I have already profited from it in many ways in my private and professional life."