Volunteering in Malaysia – not in Malaysia!

BBBB, Building Bridges Beyond Borders (Malaysia) 13 Jan 2021

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.

I am a Social Sciences (BSc) student at the University of Bath, currently on my placement year. This has been a challenging but extremely rewarding and worthwhile experience in many ways.

Despite the restrictions and hurdles presented by COVID-19, we have worked hard as a team to ensure the children at Rumah Aman have the best experience possible. 

One of the greatest challenges has been adapting to teaching online and finding ways to keep the lessons fun and engaging, but working alongside the other volunteers has been a great opportunity to collaborate, share ideas and get creative with our lesson plans.

This has been a great learning experience for us as volunteers, as well as the children. Together we have learned how to adapt to working online and communicating with people across the globe. 

Despite not being in Malaysia, we have had the pleasure of working alongside a diverse range of people and had the opportunity to gain a real insight into Malaysian culture through the students, staff, and close contacts of the team.

Being able to build friendships with the children and team members on the ground is something I am incredibly grateful for. Moreover, I could not be more thankful for the amazing support we have had! We have been made to feel so welcome and supported during the BBBB programme, even though we are thousands of miles away!   

Hearing that the students have grown in self-confidence and are keen to speak English in the home is extremely rewarding for us as volunteers.

We wrapped up the first semester in December with a beautiful online graduation ceremony celebrating the positive progress made by the three groups – All-Stars, Guardians, and the Fantastic Faculty. It was lovely to have so many guests attend the ceremony and hear the praise they had for the programme!  

We are halfway through the BBBB programme, and I can safely say that this experience will be matched by no other (for all the right reasons!). Even in the midst of this global pandemic, I really feel part of such a wonderful and valuable community, and I can’t wait for semester two to begin.

Keeping my fingers crossed that in the not-so-distant future we will finally be able to travel to Kuala Lumpur and meet the students! 


6th August 2023

Ella recalls her time volunteering at Building Bridges Beyond Borders in the first half of 2023

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur just before the beginning of Chinese New Year. This meant two things: The first, I was introduced to the beautiful and whole-hearted celebrations of Malaysia. Malls were full of dramatic displays, glowing red lanterns adorned the streets, and fireworks lit the sky each evening. One of the schools I taught […]

read more


14th December 2022

Rachel leaves Kuala Lumpur after completing her 6 months volunteering

Rachel sets off for a brief last trip in Southeast Asia before returning to the UK after 6 months as a Bath University Placement Student at the BBBB project. My name is Rachel and I study International Development with Economics at the University of Bath. I chose to do my placement in Malaysia as it […]

read more


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 […]

read more


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 […]

read more


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 […]

read more


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 […]

read more


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 […]

read more


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 […]

read more