We think that volunteering with Volunteering Goa is a fantastic, life changing experience, but don't just take our word for it! Read what some of our previous volunteers had to say about their time being volunteers in Goa . . .
At the home every evening there was a games hour, during which football was played, it was, to say the least, their passion. I worked with the younger age group. After Christmas, I also made my way to the High School, coaching their 14 boarders, all in the older age bracket. This was three evenings a week, which meant my time was shared with the boys at the home. At the same time, I became involved with the Primary School. The advantage with this was it could take place in morning school, making it easier to fit in. I would get a 7 am bus to Panjim, then the next connection to school, ready to start football for standards one, two, three, and four, 120 children, boys and girls. That gives the structure of the coaching undertaken, it tells you little of the real story. This centres around the energy, passion, friendship, and love, found with virtually every child I met.
Four months amongst the boys of the home was a privilege, one that left me humbled. There was talk, when I left, that I had given a lot, it was nothing compared to what I received. I gave one smile, and received sixty back. I gave one friendship, and had sixty friends in return. I gave my love, and was drowned in love. At the primary school, the youngsters exploded with life every time it was football. Their joy was mine. As far as football goes, the boys have a tremendous amount of talent. This is because they use every spare minute possible kicking a ball around. It was noticeable how well they listened and learnt too, wanting to improve, which they did, to a remarkable degree.
My intention is to return, I always saw this as a long term project. The experience and understanding gained during this visit should mean even greater progress and good work can be achieved during the next one.
The difficulties of heat and conditions, as tough as they were, were overcome by the smiles on the children faces!
I was the one blessed.
"When I think back to my time spent in Goa, it was the best four months I could have imagined. Volunteering, travelling, meeting new people in one of the most colourful and vibrant places on earth, it was an experience second to none. My time with Volunteering Goa lead me to volunteer for Mother Theresa's Roses, a charity that supports many vulnerable people all over India. I had the privilege of working in Quepem's Boys Home where my help with teaching, cooking, cleaning, shopping and general support of the children and staff was greatly needed. It was extremely humbling to see how a little time, effort and money could make such a huge impact on the lives of others. However cliché it may sound my time in India did change my life. I now regularly remind myself of how fortunate I am to have my education, healthcare, family and friends and how lucky I was to experience the food, climate, art, dance, music and culture of India while improving the lives of others. I can't wait to go back."
After visiting India for may years as a tourist/traveler and being constantly amazed, and sometimes worried, by its diversity, I decided to try to repay my debt by volunteering to work there. I had been involved for a long period working with youngsters in the UK so decided this was where my interests and experience lay. Although having contact with a large successful charity in Kolkata ,where I had previously volunteered for six months, my interest lay in South India and a smaller charity.
Via email research I “discovered” VG and thus started a rewarding relationship and personal friendship with Richard Lees, its founder and principal worker. Through him, and after initial problems, I went to work / help at BLC in Goa.
I am now about to make my fourth visit to them in Santa Cruz, this time unfortunately for a shorter stay of only seven weeks, where I both look forward to seeing Richard and my Goan friends again, and continuing to help at BLC by teaching English and helping some of the young people there prepare for their December exams, which I'm sure will be another rewarding experience for me and of use to them.John D