Dutch-NetherlandsEnglish (United Kingdom)

Emma Lloyd

When a child calls you “mama” you know you have made a difference.

My name is Emma and I am a British female teacher. I live in Perth, Western Australia. 
Choosing to volunteer at Samrong Farm is a decision that I will never regret and I look forward to going back. Below is my story.

 

emma1I arrived at Samrong Farm in January 2015 and stayed for a week but wish my experience had been longer. In one week I feel I made more of a difference and was more appreciated by the children than I am at school in Australia.

The children were very inquisitive and wanted to always be around me which was quite overwhelming. As a teacher we are taught to keep our distance with children so when the girls would hold my hand and play with my hair it felt less like a teacher student relationship and more that I was a part of their family.

I had the honour of teaching the intermediate English class. The children brought their exercise book and pencil to class and some were quite keen to learn. As a teacher it is natural for me to control a class and give them all attention and assistance. When a few misbehaved and I moved them they were not happy but they soon were keen to learn again. I wanted to teach them about the farm that they live on. One lesson we brainstormed about Samrong Farm and they enjoyed being able to write on the board. We then walked around the farm and they learnt about the solar panels and water tanks and the role that everyone plays at the farm. I found the children were willing to learn and did not like to make mistakes. When they are given guidance and things are kept simple and manageable they learn very well. They also like to play hangman.

After school the children often played on my ipad or coloured in the alphabet and played Uno. They get very competitive with Uno. My husband came to visit for one night and that night a barbecue was held. The children were all dancing and playing and it was great to see. They are very friendly and get along with everyone which is not something you see very often.

Compared to Australian children they do not have a lot in the form of material goods but I prefer their way of living. Australian children are too technology focused and cannot amuse themselves. The children at Samrong however can make fun out of sticks and stones and are very responsible. If you ask them to take turns with playing games they do and have very good manners.

My initial thoughts on volunteering at an orphanage were to feel sorry for the children but on leaving the farm I realized that they have a very good life. They have a bed, three meals a day, schooling, a family habitat and the chance to meet new volunteers.
A young boy named Youheng holds a special place in my heart. I was very upset to leave him. I wrote him a card and managed to talk to him via facetime through another volunteer and look forward to seeing him again.

My aim is to return to the farm later this year or early next year.
I would like to stay for two weeks and teach them Cambodian history and geography in English. I have also started training to run the Perth marathon to fundraise and raise money for the farm.

emma2emma3

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