One of our partner organisations and creator of the orphanage volunteering alternative Rok Kern programme, Children in Families was invited to speak about volunteering at an International School in Phnom Penh.
Following, this one student, Annie*, shared her thoughts in a blog about the 'buzz' you get from volunteering in an orphanage. She invites other volunteers to think beyond the 'buzz' to consider the emotional impact on the children and to channel their good intentions and excitement about volunteering into being catalysts for change.
"The important thing to remember is that someone else is the recipient of those emotions. That feeling of joy and bonding that is felt when seeing children’s’ faces, upon learning their names, the children feel that too. And then that connection is torn away after a week, perhaps a month – again, and again, and again. A year later, it is doubtful that volunteers will remember their names, their faces. By then, the “buzz” has faded. Perhaps their eyes were opened, perhaps it influenced the way they saw the world. But the children left behind? They remember the visitors, as they remember the others – the ones who left."
Read Annie's* full blog post on Children In Families' website.
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons.