Using your professional skills as a volunteer can be very satisfying, says Sara, first-time St. Lucia volunteer. It might be the best way to experience the Caribbean! She reflects on a two weeks of teaching and health care projects – on the captivating island of St. Lucia.
We’re all sad to leave St. Lucia today. For the past two weeks, Anse La Raye has been our home, and the students, teachers and parents have been our family. We’re grateful for the opportunity to use our skills in very important ways.
Bob, a retired teacher, has tutored children in grades 3-5 enriching their math and reading skills. Bob also constructed a weather station and gave a meteorology lesson to all the children, leaving them with the station for future learning. It turned out that for the first time since Global Volunteers started working with the school, our services weren’t needed in grade 6. The students all now know how to read! An accomplishment Global Volunteers can feel proud of!
Marianne has worked for two weeks in the same 3rd grade classroom teaching the children and a novice, young teacher. Marianne, a veteran teacher with many years’ experience, set examples and gave the young teacher pointers to help the new teacher be more effective. Additionally, Marianne instructed the children as well in their daily lessons. Marianne organized a reading center in the room to encourage the children to read and make books more accessible.
Molly worked in the Reaching Children’s Potential program with the caregivers already in place as well as visiting mothers and infants. Molly taught the caregivers and mothers to make beads which were strung into bracelets and necklaces to be sold for income. Yesterday, our last day in Anse La Raye, the caregivers walked through the village selling the completed beads and necklaces to locals and tourists alike. A sense of accomplishment and success was evident on the faces of the caregivers.
I worked for two weeks with the preschool children at the Adalyn Leonce Early Childhood Development Center. Mainly, I worked individually with the 3-4 year-olds to introduce phonics to them and help them prepare for the Infant School. Additionally, I played games, sang and laughed with all the children. I felt I had the easiest and most fun job as I spent my day hugging and loving these dear children. I hope they not only learned phonics but that they are special, talented children loved not only by their families and the village of Anse La Raye but by us as well.
I think I can speak for all of us when I say this was a learning experience for us as well as them.
It is humbling to see what these people accomplish with so few resources. They support each other wholeheartedly and work together to survive. Despite their impoverished environment, they are happy, loving people eager to give to others. They set a shining example for all of us. Hopefully, we can take home what we learned here and use it to improve our own lives.