Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions
Submitted by Sherma - Oakland United States | September 07, 2016
As a first time volunteering abroad..and having worked with children as my profession, I was very excited to volunteer at Pringles Orphanage in Jamaica. Initially I was a bit nervous, being that I was the only volunteer amongst 23 teens and preteens. But the staff at the orphanage were very helpful..and the youth were great!...and welcomed me with open arms and hearts. I would create fun activities to do with the youth..which was a great and positive learning experience for me.. we learned from each other. My Host family was also great and made my stay very comfortable. It was like home away from home....and they prepared delicious Jamaican dishes. I was also able to enjoy and experience the True Jamaica by hanging out in town at the local spots with the natives during my down time. I would say that my volunteering was a positive and memorable experience that i will hold close to my heart and will never forget...and would definitely recommend!
Program: Working With Children In Jamaica
Garland Hall Children's Home
Submitted by Supinda S. - San Mateo | June 14, 2016
Natalie and Rhoja at Jamaica Volunteer Expeditions (JVE) provided a lot of information about the volunteer experience, including the hours, the age, the number of children, and the needs but I wasn't sure what to expect, especially since I was volunteering on my own. I wasn't sure if there would be other volunteers from other organizations. Natalie's email prompted me to prepare a few fun but educational activities and I also brought some workbooks as well.
When I arrived at the children's home, there was another long-term volunteer there but she ended up not coming while I was there. Although the staff at the home were friendly, it seemed like the volunteers were expected to work independently with the children. I found the home to be comfortable and clean and expected that the children had some structure during the day. However, I learned that there was very little structure so I created some structure for myself and the children but was also flexible in going with the flow as well. I'm glad that I had already planned some activities and brought all the materials needed with me.
I was only at the home for 3 full days and 2 half days but felt a strong connection with the children as each day passed. At times, I felt challenged in working alone with the children, either because the children were frustrated with themselves or each other but I tried my best to stay motivated and positive and work with the children to make things both fun and educational. On the last day, it was quite emotional, the staff and children gathered around and expressed their appreciation and I'm now thinking of ways to continue my support from overseas.
JVE did an excellent job at preparing me and were eager to receive feedback. My host family was excellent and by the end of the trip, I feel like I now have a second home and family in Jamaica.
The only complaint that I have is that I had to figure out lunch on my own, since the home did not provide any. With limited transportation and not being familiar with the area, that was a bit of a challenge.
Program: Working With Children In Jamaica
Submitted by Maria Collins - Massachusetts United States | April 29, 2016
I found this experience to be very rewarding. However, I feel like a bigger impact could've been made at the school if we had known what supplies the students needed. We could have done more to bring notebooks, pencils, paper etc.. I also felt that more information about proper school etiquette should have been communicated ahead of time. I was very pleased with all the wonderful food served and our accommodations were great. During the farming day if felt that an opportunity was lost to explain the grave economic situation of the farmers. Crops were not explained and many students were not clear why they were doing certain activities. When a teaching moment is presented, it should be taken advantage. I also think that more time at the school would have been great. The day trip to Montego bay was great but the travel time was too long.
Overall really great!
Submitted by Jane Campbell - Academy of Notre Dame | April 29, 2016
I had a lot of fun. It was hard to get use to the kids at first, but eventually it was really fun to spend time with them. Also the bugs weren't fun but the living situation was a lot of fun. And the staff from JVE were really great. I'm really glad I had this experience.
JVE: A One-of-a-kind Service Endeavour
Submitted by Annmaire Kordish - Academy of Notre Dame | April 29, 2016
Spending April break in Jamaica with JVE was an overall energetic and memorable experience. At the Mt Olivet primary school, the groups was able to create strong bonds with the kind school children. This experience also allowed us to engage in service in an international education context. I also enjoyed the time to relax and see the lush side of the country.