On behalf of ISCO Foundation, I would like to send my biggest gratitude to all of the volunteers who have been working with us. Thank you so much for transforming us as we are now, and again, thank you for every little thing you have shared which positively impacted the growth of ISCO Foundation so it becomes better from time to time. Shaun and Tamara were smart person who are creative and open minded. They shared their knowledge to grow ISCO and having fun with the children. ISCO Foundation (known as Yayasan ISCO in Indonesian) is a non-government organization, whose particular focus is enabling children who live in poverty to receive an education and achieve their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens of Indonesia.
Over several placements from 2013 to October 2017 I worked alongside lecturers and students at Champasack University in Pakse, Laos. My most recent seven -month assignment was as an Academic Training and Development Officer (ESL). While based in the English Department within the Faculty of Education, I supported program participants from offices and faculties across the university and also immensely enjoyed observation and team teaching opportunities that enabled me to interact with the students in and out of the lecture room. My time in Laos has been a significant chapter in my journey of lifelong learning - I have learnt so much from my Lao colleagues about education and also about their culture. I thank them for their warm acceptance, humour and kindness. I wish them all the best in overcoming future challenges. Thank you too to the Scope Global In Country team – David, Alie and Somchit-whose support ensured I could concentrate on the attainment of assignment goals.
The volunteer program has had a profound affect on my life – a point of reference for regular humble reflections. A most sincere and bottom-of-my-heart thank you to everyone involved in the volunteer program including: Scope - for being a wonderful enabler. The staff for their kindness, wisdom and support over my volunteer journey and as a facilitator. A particular shout out to Ruby for your friendship and amazing energy every briefing and debrief. Fellow Volunteers and Facilitators - for being a constant source of motivation. It never ceased to amaze me the passionate, beautiful individuals I had the privilege of sharing a space with, whether it be for just a few days or lifelong friendships. You were a source of my constant learning and reflection. The Tongan People – for welcoming me with open arms, imparting your values of community and the habit of sharing a smile. Malo 'aupito!
My journey with Scope Global as a volunteer actually all began because of a holiday I had in Fiji in 2016. It was 2 weeks after Cyclone Winston had caused widespread devastation throughout Fiji. Part of my trip was to visit a school..it was there as I stood amongst ruins that were once a classroom, surrounded by students that were still turning up to learn without even a roof on their classroom, big smiles on those resilient faces despite the destruction around them,that I knew I had to come back and help in some way... I discovered the world of volunteering through AVID and got a years assignment working in Special Schools in Fiji. Nine months later I'm still here-with my puppets-working alongside teachers helping these amazing children tap into their creativity and deliver important messages to communities. Volunteering has opened a whole new world to me-learning so much about myself. It has been and is a journey of love...I share my life now with incredibly driven, passionate teachers who inspire me daily. Inclusiveness for all children regardless of disabilities is what we strive for here in Fiji...it is a journey I am on and am passionate about. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be given this volunteering opportunity.Through my puppets we can spread the message of inclusiveness throughout all Fijian schools and that Disability is not inability. Thank you AVID- Vinaka Vakalevu Fiji.