Lessons Learned from Volunteering at an Orphanage Abroad

Strolling into and volunteering at an orphanage for the primary time, I used to be stuffed with a mixture of pleasure and nervousness. As a half-Filipino, I felt a way of delight and pleasure to be again within the nation the place my household was from, however I wasn’t certain what to anticipate from my time there.

Would I be capable of join with the children? Would I be capable of make a significant impression? These have been the ideas working by way of my thoughts as I walked by way of the gate.

Once I arrived, I used to be greeted by a bunch of shy and curious kids. They peeked out from behind doorways and round corners, eyeing me cautiously as I made my approach by way of the halls. I used to be struck by their shyness, and I couldn’t assist however really feel a bit nervous myself.

Faith Lopez, the writer, volunteering at an orphanage in the Philippines.


I used to be a stranger of their house (Bata Ng Calabnugan), and I knew that it might take time to earn their belief and construct a reference to them.

Nonetheless, as the times glided by and I spent extra time with the children, I started to see their partitions come down. They began to speak in confidence to me, sharing tales and jokes, and even asking me to affix in on their video games.

Volunteering at an orphanage you get to see kids riding a bike etc.


Quickly sufficient, they welcomed me into their house with open arms, fairly actually. From that time on, I had a child hooked up to me always. They have been all the time keen to carry palms, give hugs, and soar on my again every time I wasn’t wanting. By the top of my keep, it was exhausting to consider that these similar kids had as soon as been so guarded and distant.

These have been youngsters who had skilled extra hardship and trauma of their younger lives than most individuals may even think about. And but, they nonetheless discovered causes to smile and chortle daily.

They have been extremely cussed and strong-willed, which might be difficult at occasions, however it additionally gave them a powerful sense of perseverance.

The writer carrying a baby while volunteering at an orphanage.


Most of all, although, they have been simply youngsters. They cherished to play and have enjoyable, similar to another kids their age. That they had large goals and aspirations, claiming that in the future they’ll be medical doctors, lecturers, engineers, and artists. It was inspiring to see their willpower and ambition, even within the face of adversity.

My expertise with the youngsters really challenged and adjusted my understanding of improvement work. As somebody who had not too long ago graduated from college on this discipline of research, I had entered this expertise with the purpose of making use of the information and expertise I gained to the group. However I shortly realized that the realities on the bottom have been far more complicated and nuanced than something I had studied in class.

Kids giving the writer a group hug.


I needed to acknowledge that volunteering at an orphanage (Bata Ng Calabnugan), notably as somebody who grew up within the West, can usually perpetuate the dangerous narrative of the “white savior.” My understanding of improvement had, to a sure extent, been constructed round that.

The fact is, the youngsters and employees on the orphanage are consultants on their very own lives, and that my position as a volunteer is just to assist and amplify their voices, relatively than to impose my very own concepts or options.

I realized that whereas systemic change is critical and essential, there may be additionally energy in partial options. By giving the youngsters entry to training, meals, and a secure and loving house, the group has made a tangible impression of their lives. I noticed that typically, the best options are the only ones.

A group photo with the kids and the writer.


Ultimately, I left the orphanage feeling humbled and grateful for the chance to be taught from the youngsters and contribute, even in a small approach, to their lives.

Should you’re contemplating getting concerned with this group or one alike in no matter capability you’ll be able to, I urge you to take the leap – I promise, you received’t remorse it.

Should you want to be taught extra in regards to the orphanage and assist them in no matter approach you’ll be able to, you may get in contact with them HERE. – MyPositive Outlooks

Watch the video under to be taught extra in regards to the author’s Philippines expertise:

About The Writer:

Hello, I’m Religion! I’m all about stepping outdoors my consolation zone, connecting with individuals and studying one thing new every time I get the possibility. You possibly can observe me on Instagram and YouTube.

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