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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 

Volunteers' Stories

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HEGE ANDREASSEN
Norwegian

Care for Orphans Volunteering Project in Madurai, India

         

The best thing about this placement is the kids! Without doubt. They are fantastic! From the first day I arrived, the children have been nothing but loving, kind and open. They love the attention that the volunteers can give, because the nurses usually don't have that much time to play with the children. The nurses working at the orphanage are great as well, especially Elisabeth, staff nurse! We have had quite a few some chats in the nursery while feeding the babies.

I think the good thing is that you don't really need any qualifications to be able to enjoy the placement. The nurses are really happy to get all the help they can, and they thank you for coming and helping every day! They will give you the same tasks as the regular nurses have, and I really feel that they trust me, and appreciate the help.

I feel that I have got some insights to the world of adoption etc (mostly through the social worker, who will tell you the story and situation of each of the children if you just ask her) - which is useful for me since I am going to be a social worker.

I just really love my placement!! The orphanage is everything I could have dreamed of and more. Love it!! Pradeep, Das, Jeya, Ramu are all great, and if we have any problems, we'll always get help!

Can you describe a typical day?

I have been working the morning shifts, and get picked up by Das - our great driver - at 8am. He drives us to the orphanage - a 15-20 min drive away. A bumpy drive, but with great music (Das loves his music!) Usually the nurses would already have started to feed the babies by the time we get there, so we help them with the rest. At the moment there are about 13 small babies.

Then its bath time for all the children - babies first and the toddlers last. We undress the babies, then Elisabeth usually gives the babies a bath in a small tub, and we tie their nappies and get them dressed.

We then help carry the older babies and toddlers into the bathroom, pick up the ones that have finished their bath, dry the children and dress them. Usually one person will carry the children, one dry them and one dress them etc. We get picked up by Das again at 12.30, and go home for lunch, which is around 1 pm. Our cook Jeya makes great food!

After lunch we go shopping, send e-mails, relax, chat, go sightseeing etc. At 6, Steve and I get picket up by Ramu - our "private" auto driver - to get yoga, which finish at 7. We then get back home and wait for dinner at around 7.30 - 8.00pm.

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