Why volunteering with IYH made me a better teacher
by Naiara Unzurrunzaga
Some time has passed and I am still wondering how I ended up becoming an IYH volunteer, which has left me buzzing for life. I, myself, am a qualified teacher of languages with over 8 years of formal teaching experience in the UK education system, both working in the UK and in the International Schools sector. Last July, I quit my job in Malaysia and decided to take some time off to explore some parts of the world with no job and time constraints. Little did I know that after a couple of months I would land in Nepal and the coincidences of life would take me to Shree Jana Jagriti Primary School in Gorkha. I visited the school for 4 days as suggested by Jane, IYH team member and friend from back home. 4 days became 4 weeks and my sabbatical meant-to-be time in Nepal, became the most meaningful thing I have done in my last 7 months of travelling.
If you are a teacher yourself, or are surrounded by anyone working in the education sector, I don’t think I need to go into much detail about the challenging times the British Education system is going through. I believe education is the most powerful tool to make a change and give a chance in every child´s life, but unfortunately, working in the British system had left me exhausted and disillusioned in many ways. Being a volunteer with IYH has definitely renewed my passion for education and even though we might have taught them more or less English language, I feel I am the one who has benefitted greatest from this experience. Being part of this project, has given me a new perception that I will hopefully be able to pass on in my work back in the UK, where education is often taken for granted and it can be easy to forget to put the interest of children at its heart due to all the external pressures and limitations we work with.
You will come as a temporary volunteer and leave with a moral commitment for life to the project. Volunteering with IYH will leave you with tones of memories of thirsty for knowledge children, sincere smiles, life long lasting friendships and forever attachment to Nepal and the beautiful people of Nepal.
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