Happiness Through Helping!| 3 min read

As the bus began to depart from the orphanage I felt truly privileged to be able to say that, if only for one day, I got to be a part of it.

During the summer I volunteered at the orphanage as part of my company’s team building activity, knowing very little about the orphanage or how it was run, I was very really excited to learn all about the organization and how I could get involved.

We were greeted by the Volunteer Coordinator who gave us a full tour of the orphanage and introduced us to some of the children. At first I was a little nervous, not speaking enough Chinese I was apprehensive about approaching the kids directly, thinking they may not understand me.  This apprehension soon disappeared when a young boy named Michael excitedly started talking to me, asking me lots of questions about who I was and which country I had come from, he was warm and unafraid of me and spoke really good English. He helped me get over my earlier apprehension and talked me through his time at the orphanage.

We continued with tour of the orphanage with Matt; The Volunteer Coordinator, showing us all the wonderful facilities for the children including the music room which was a particular favourite of mine! He explained about how the orphanage was self-sufficient and grew it’s own food on site and that was where our help was required. That day we were going to help harvest the corn from the fields.

We divided up into smaller groups and soon set about with the task at hand, there were people for chopping, some for stripping, some for loading the bags and then me. My job was to take the full bags of corn, carry them from the field and stack them away ready for the husks to be removed. It was a very hot day and the bags were heavy, but every time I thought about how hard the work was, I thought about how hard it must have been to set up an orphanage. How hard it must have been to teach the children. But most of all I thought about how hard it must be to never give up on a child.

We continued working through the afternoon heat, only stopping once for a brief lunch. After the harvesting had finished we then started painting flower pots that would later be sold in the gift shop. This was a great way to finish the day, as the sun began to set we sat around chatting and laughing as we got more paint on ourselves than on the pots! Matt joined in too and began to tell us more about the orphanage and how it came to be and more about the orphans themselves. When we had finished we brought all the pots (at least 20!) up to the gift shop and began to say our goodbyes.

What the orphanage is providing for the children is incredible, a safe and family orientated home, where they can grow and learn. As the bus began to depart from the orphanage I felt truly privileged to be able to say that, if only for one day, I got to be a part of it. I’m sure that this was just the first of many visits to come!

Rachel Yoon

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