Volunteering your time can change the life of a child or community where you are working. But can also help shape your own life and inspire new dreams and pathways.
"The work I did and the things I learnt completely changed my life."
My time in Thailand changed my life. It was my first time travelling alone, and the longest I would be away from home. At 23 I was living in New Zealand, had various office jobs, I lived with my mum and my life, whilst enjoyable, didn't have much direction.
So when the opportunity came to volunteer at CCD I decided to take it. I knew I was passionate about people, I'd always had an interest in working with vulnerable people, and I had already been to Thailand a couple of times on family trips, I loved the country and it's people.
Arriving there was nerve racking, but the staff and volunteers make you feel so welcome. The house I lived at during my stay, provided by CCD, was great, with our own kitchen, a couple of bedrooms, even a washing machine! I made a friend for life during my trip, and I feel so blessed to have been able to meet her through this experience. We split our time between working at Rainbow House [CCD's daycare project], and going to the government orphanages [where CCD provide on-site childcare].
The area is relatively easy to navigate, nothing is too far, and we quickly got the hang of buses or biking to where we needed to go. There is an amazing sense of community and even with the language barrier, I always felt very safe and welcome.
With weekends off we also got to explore parts of Thailand I hadn't seen before. The work I did and the things I learnt completely changed my life, and confirmed that I wanted to do something with my life that would help people. I fell in love with the children, and being able to keep up with what's going on via CCD and For Life's Facebook pages has been so warming over the years since I've been.
I now work in a pharmacy, and plan to further my career in the health industry.