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

BBBB, Building Bridges Beyond Borders (Malaysia), Just Volunteers! News, Projects, Volunteers' Stories 26 Jul 2022

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 July and these are some of her observations after one month.

As I complete my first month here in KL, I want to reflect upon my exciting experience so far.

When I arrived, I was greeted at the bus station by Dr Sarahda and Raja Norma who brought me out to lunch to recharge and get all the information and equipment I needed (including a personal phone with a prepaid sim!) to get started before bringing me to my accommodation to settle in.

With the weekend to get my bearings before starting to teach, I got the chance to explore the area I am living in, only a 5 minute walk from the trendy and famous Pentaling street in Chinatown and right next to Merdeka MRT station. It is a perfect location to explore and see the city – something which I have thoroughly enjoyed after school, in the evening and on weekends. I also got to meet Miza on the Sunday, who showed me how to get to MRCLC school and YTL offices, and enjoyed spending the day with her to get lunch and do some shopping – something which you can spend hours doing between the many huge malls in the city!

Miza (Dr Miza Rashid) BBBB Coordinator spends the afternoon with Rachel in KL

The first week was slightly daunting as I had no real previous teaching experience and was thrown in right away on Monday morning! But with the help of other volunteers and simply asking the children and working with them, it became a lot easier to adapt and get used to planning and preparing lessons. Now, after just one month, planning has become a lot easier and I find myself becoming more and more creative with lesson plans and activities to engage the kids. While it was scary at first, particularly feeling unprepared and nervous, I am already becoming a lot more confident and can see the children really enjoying lessons and learning from them – an extremely rewarding feeling!

Rachel beginning her teaching!

Alongside the teaching, I have not only been able to explore KL – seeing the Batu caves, Petronas twin towers and the botanical gardens to name a few – but I have also had the opportunity to adventure further afield and see other parts of this beautiful country.

So far, I have taken trips to Penang (5-8 hour bus journey) and to Malacca (2- 3 hour bus) during the weekends. Both were wonderful places, steeped in culture and are UNESCO world heritage sites. As I don’t know anyone here, I travel alone and have never felt unsafe as a solo female traveller – as long as you are sensible and street-smart, it is a very safe place with friendly people!

Rachel teaching at the refugee school

So far, I am loving my experience here and if I ever have any concerns or questions, there are so many people who are part of the team that I can contact for support and they will always be happy to help! I cant wait to continue teaching the children to see them progress and create more creative lesson plans to teach effectively, also to learn from them as they are so eager to learn and joyful regardless of their situation. Lastly, I am eager to explore more of this wonderful country that I am more than happy to call home for a couple of months!

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 […]

read more

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 […]

read more

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 […]

read more

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 […]

read more

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 […]

read more

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. […]

read more

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 […]

read more

BBBB

25th June 2020

Update on Developments at the Refugee School in KL

Again, we would like to thank all those who have helped this community in their hour of particular need ! The community seem to be keeping in good spirits although the school management estimate that fewer than 15% of them have got their jobs back. Very understandably, the first jobs to open up are going […]

read more