Harriet finishes one year of online volunteering as a Bath University placement student and expects to travel to Malaysia this summer to finally meet all the kids she already knows so well!

BBBB, Projects 25 May 2022

With Just Volunteers, I have been privileged to teach for three inspiring organisations in Malaysia: the Rumah Aman Orphanage and Welfare Home, the [Myanmar Refugee school supported by SID] and the YTL Foundation.

Just Volunteers has been supportive and encouraging from the outset. As this is my first time ever teaching, having a strong network of people to support me has been extremely important.

From the start, I was trusted to write my own curriculum, allowing me to follow my own interests and those of my students. This has ensured positive student engagement as the students are selecting elements of their curriculum and so strengthens our relationship. Having responsibility for what is taught has broadened my skill set, making me more confident and self-assured. I have taught a wide range of subjects, from volcanoes and Beowulf to Stoicism and percentages; something I could not have imagined when I started teaching in May 2021.

My students range from 7 years old to 18! It can feel challenging as you try to ensure each lesson is stimulating, supporting the growth of the students’ confidence whilst also developing their learning. Low floor-high ceiling activities are vital as all students can take part and learn whilst also extending those who feel more comfortable with the topic.

It is important to teach using different activities, remembering the limitations of remote learning: games, videos, quizzes, drawing and puzzles keep the classes exciting and engaging. I tailor my lessons to the students and remember, given the time difference, classes mostly occur between late afternoon and late evening in Malaysia, so the students may be tired. For example, I have learnt towards the end of the lesson to have a calming activity.

My students’ dedication and enthusiasm in every single lesson has astonished me. Their excitement at learning and positive feedback has helped me to improve my lessons and made me want to deliver the best learning experience possible. The students are always willing to try something new and take a risk which energises my teaching.

On reflection, my time teaching with Just Volunteers has been a rewarding placement. I have learnt so much. I am really hoping that I can come and teach in person soon.

BBBB

12th October 2022

Miza, our BBBB Project Coordinator writes a very personal account of her 5 years with the project

Five years with Building Bridges Beyond Borders Miza contacted the programme when she was finishing her Masters at Edinburgh University and about to return to her native Malaysia. After being a volunteer herself, she completed her PhD and has now become an invaluable member of the BBBB management team! Here she remembers some key moments […]

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BBBB

26th July 2022

Rachel is Our First International Volunteer to Arrive in Malaysia for over 2 years!

For the past two years our projects in KL have been sustained by a number of hard working and dedicated Malaysian undergraduate volunteers working in person, as well as international volunteers working online. After two years we are delighted to be able to welcome international volunteers in person again! Rachel arrived at the beginning of […]

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BBBB

25th July 2022

During the pandemic we have had a wonderful group of international volunteers working with the children in Malaysia online

While the largest number of online volunteers have been placement students from the University of Bath, we have also been very lucky to have a dedicated group from the University of Durham volunteering a few hours a week online throughout the second half of this academic year. The experience of both sides has been very […]

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BBBB

25th May 2022

Harriet finishes one year of online volunteering as a Bath University placement student and expects to travel to Malaysia this summer to finally meet all the kids she already knows so well!

With Just Volunteers, I have been privileged to teach for three inspiring organisations in Malaysia: the Rumah Aman Orphanage and Welfare Home, the [Myanmar Refugee school supported by SID] and the YTL Foundation. Just Volunteers has been supportive and encouraging from the outset. As this is my first time ever teaching, having a strong network […]

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BBBB

4th May 2022

Ciara has learned more than she expected volunteering online!

Ciara will soon finish her more than 6 months volunteering at BBBB online. (And this summer we will be welcoming in-person volunteers to Malaysia for the first time in over two years!) My name is Ciara and I am currently studying Social Sciences (BSc) at the University of Bath. Working for Just Volunteers has been […]

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BBBB

16th January 2021

Madalena is finding online teaching much more interesting than she expected

Maddie talks about how she has been dealing with an internship done entirely online and working from home – when she would otherwise have expected to be in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia working with disadvantaged local children. The experience is challenging for everyone but the attitude of the kids has made it a […]

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BBBB

13th January 2021

Volunteering in Malaysia - not in Malaysia!

Charlotte is one of three interns working with our Building Bridges project in Malaysia for this academic year, providing mentoring sessions and fun English classes online – BBBB Online – for children at Rumah Aman, a Muslim children’s home in Kuala Lumpur. They work with small groups of children two or three times a week. […]

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BBBB

3rd July 2020

Latest update from the Refugee School in Kuala Lumpur

On Wednesday 1st July the kindergarten and nursery classes began again at the school with a total of 15 children turning up. Some of the children did not come due to fear among the families, however we are pleased that no one in the community has caught the virus. Most families still do not have […]

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