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Volunteer in an Orphanage

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Volunteering in Orphanage

Having the opportunity to volunteer in an orphanage was truly amazing. This experience opened my eyes to a whole new light. There were 29 children who were nothing but happy and excited to spend time with me. Weather it was just talking or playing games the children had so much energy and I embraced every second we all had together. This is definitely an experience that I would love to do again and learn even more from it. Overall, this experience was extremely life-changing and brought happiness to my heart.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Exceeding Expectations of a Philanthropic Endeavor

Although I have been to Jamaica several times before, I truly value this trip, for I feel it was my first REAL Jamaican experience. From the moment I stepped off the plane and was greeted by my Program Adviser, I felt comfortable and at ease. This level of comfort and accommodation was immediately established and sustained in every aspect of my experience with the Jamaica Volunteer Programs. Specifically, I was invited to be part of a 2 traditional Christmas gatherings with the family. Not only did this invite me to be totally immersed in the culture, it also reinforced the kind, welcoming spirit of the Jamaican people and the entire staff of the Jamaican Volunteer Programs. The volunteer experience was unlike anything I have ever endured and truly humbling; I went to the orphanage intending to use my teaching background to help the girls, yet I learned so much from working with them and all the "aunties" who extend themselves day in and day out to provide for these girls. Words cannot emphasize how much I would recommend this Program. It as exceeded expectations in every possible way and have already began to contemplate my next volunteer venture.

Overall Rating

9/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    5

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

An experience for life!

I did not really know what to expect when I was going to Jamaica as a volunteer and I was not sure if I would like it, but I am so glad i did it! First of all, the children i got to meet through my volunteer work were the cutest kids I have ever met, and I felt that they really appreciated me being there, so I believe that I actually made a difference for them. Second, the staff at Smokey Manor were so friendly, welcoming and helpful that it really felt like a home away from home. At last, once you get to know Jamaica and get used to the cultural differences (for me it was a cultural shock the first days) the country has so much to offer. Both Portland and the Strawberry Hills at the Blue Mountains are some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and going there really felt like entering paradise. Especially Portland must be visited!

If I was to say something a little less positive, it would be that it was not as well-organized as I would expect it to be. The first day I kind of felt like I was to figure things out on my own, but fortunately it got better already next day. They are very open for feedback and always try their best to help you. Another thing that was not too positive was that the excursions are expensive. The only trip I really felt like I paid the right price for was the trip to Portland, but even that one was very expensive considering the rafting was not included. Also, there were days where the drivers were late to pick us up from work - the longest wait was two hours. Still, this is probably just a part of the Jamaican culture and you just have to adjust to the "Jamaican time".

All in all, I am so glad I went and it really was an experience for life!