The people and places volunteer programme grew out of a series of chats.
At the start of the pandemic a handful of previous volunteers to the programme we work with in Morocco approached Dianne to ask if we could help them contact the house mothers they had worked with – just to say hello…just to have a chat…..
A year later we have a structured programme working with House Mothers and the young female students they support….this programme is not only building language skills but more important it is building confidence.
And you could help…a couple of hours a week from the comfort of your own home….chatting is all it takes….OK not quite – you will need to research and plan ideas for your conversations….but the rewards are enormous
“The best and most rewarding thing I have done for years”
The latest volunteers to work on on our conversation programme are Hannah and Jane – Hannah worked with a house mother whose role is to support the girls during their education and Jane worked with the girls themselves
Here are their stories
“In her teaching, Mrs. Hana focused on making me talk, by asking her frequent questions about the weather, the news, and anything. Every next class, how the week went, I liked that because I tried to speak each class better than the last, and by repeating the terms, they took root in my mind, as each class was dedicated There is time for you to teach me some verbs by showing me pictures indicating some verbs and asking me to put them into sentences and to spend them in the past, present and future and to send them to her. I liked her way because she was forcing me to talk to her an I ‘m not afraid of making a mistake because she was always correcting me. I thank her and thank you all for helping me. and in the end I hope that I have reached you with my idea and I hope you will excuse me for my mistakes”
And this from Jane……
“I have recently finished a placement with the people and places programme which is based in the High Atlas mountains in Morocco.
I volunteered for one session a week for 12 weeks with 14 girls ranging in age from 17 to 19 who were studying for their Baccalaureate, and they practiced their oral English with me.
Each session I worked with 4 to 6 girls, and they would take it in turns to speak about particular issues and have conversations with myself and each other. We would focus on specific vocabulary and grammar each session. I gave them homework regularly and was very impressed at how diligent they were. We mostly spoke about their lives and where they lived and what they enjoyed, and it was lovely to get to know them a little bit better.
I found the 12 weeks extremely rewarding and enjoyable. The girls were delightful and all made huge efforts in improving their speaking and listening skills. The housemothers were supportive of the girls and helpful to me, plus People and Places could not have done more to make the placement go smoothly. It was reassuring to know that there was always someone at the end of a phone or Whats App message. Additionally, they arranged regular review meetings to ensure everyone was happy with arrangements.
I had previously considered volunteering in Morocco, as I had visited the project when on holiday in the area as it had appealed to me – education for girls is so important and these girls are truly appreciative of the opportunity that have been given. It didn’t happen for various reasons, so discovering the opportunity to still volunteer with this particular project in Morocco, but from the comfort of my home was a joy.
One of the effects of covid 19 is that many people have become more relaxed and confident about using technology to connect with others, and e-volunteering is a great example of it working successfully, and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to share their skills and even learn some new ones whilst making worthwhile connections. I am now looking forward to being involved for a further 12 weeks. “Jane
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