For this past quarter, we have been studying Human Rights in Social Studies class and also almost all our other classes like writing, art, and science. At first, our job was to only research these issues and take a look at the sustainable development goals that the UN has for the world, but we then got to select one topic as a group of 3 and partner with a NGO that helps solve that certain issue. Our group chose poor education due to poverty. We chose this because we felt like it was most important to us, and we wanted to fulfill the goals that Orphan Impact wanted to accomplish.
At the NGO conference before we started our project, the lovely Orphan Impact representatives said that they needed assistance in raising awareness for their organization, and in helping the children at the orphanages with motivation and self-esteem. We were instantly inspired, and we decided to contact them so we could pay a visit to one of their orphanages, and we designed a few activities to help the children learn and boost their self confidence and motivation in learning.
We accomplished this goal by having a fun mirror worksheet and a symbolic cupcake decorating activity. The mirror worksheet required the students to write down things that make them proud of who they are and what they like about themselves. And for the cupcake decorating activity, we brought in colorful frosting and sprinkles and asked the children to decorate their cupcakes to represent themselves.
Here are some reflection questions:
What were your initial expectations? Have these expectations changed? How? Why? We all expected this to be a lot more difficult since it was direct service and we had to do a lot of work, and we had very high expectations at first. Everything went so smooth, and we always thought that something would go wrong since it was just too easy, but then we realized that things were just easy because we worked hard and then our expectations changed from high to realistic.
How did time impact my work? For us, time management was really simple because to-do lists and all these notes helped us with our visit. All we needed to do was write down the requirements for our project and get started. We worked together very well, so that impacted us more than the time did. We had a reasonable amount of time to plan this, and we didn’t slack off at all – we got straight to our project and got a lot of work done every class.
What are the most difficult and most satisfying parts of the service you are performing? Why? I guess it was really challenging to explain why self-esteem is important to children because most of them haven’t been through anything that convinced them that self-esteem is extremely valuable. However, the most satisfying part was seeing the smiles when they were decorating their cupcakes. It made me really happy to see children who aren’t as fortunate as me enjoy something I got a chance to give to them. I guess it’s really fun spending time with children 🙂
Have your career options been expanded by your service experience? Honestly, I’ve always thought that learning is fun (I wanted to become a scientist so I could just learn, learn, and LEARN about the world) and I thought that teaching was lame, but I think my views have really changed since Sunday. Now I think that teaching is also learning; but learning from those that are younger than you since they have such different views on everything. I’d love to be a teacher who teaches young children because I find it so amazing. Seeing the smiles on their faces is so precious, it absolutely melted my heart.
Here are the links to our activities and lesson plan: