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Jamie’s Philippines Experience

Jamie B.
Volunteer Name:Jamie B.
Project Attended:Social Welfare & Education for Deaf Children
Country Attended:Philippines
Volunteer Bio:Jamie Bogaardt is a courageous 21 year old British volunteer who joined Kaya on our fantastic Social Welfare & Education for Deaf Children in the Philippines placement. Although Jamie is deaf and lost the use of his hearing aid in his first week of volunteering this did not stop his incredible commitment to the project and kids at the school. Jamie has been a fantastic inspiration to the whole of the Kaya team in the Philippines. You can read more about his story below...
Tell us about your experiences with Kaya (sign up process, preparation) Signing up for Kaya wasn’t too hard because I told them that I am deaf myself and that I would understand how the kids will feel and how to help them out which they thought was a good idea to have a deaf volunteer. The process wasn’t hard either as I received a lot of advice from them which was very helpful so I wasn’t too worried about how to prepare stuff e.g. what to take, what will I prepare for the placement, etc.
Tell us about your role in your project I taught kids (Grade 5&6) English, Maths and sometimes Science, Art and P.E. I often gave the kids lots of exercise in English and Maths, helped them out if they couldn’t understand and found other ways to explain to make it clearer for them. That was a big challenge for me as all the kids have different levels of knowledge, which was not exactly easy to teach. The kids have been very good with me.
What has been the highlight of your trip? I met a variety of people – volunteers and Filipinos. I learned how to teach the kids some subjects. Being an independent without anyone to tell me what to do and travelling to different places alone with friends can be great fun. I loved having a social life with volunteers and Filipino people. I also loved the taste of some of the food, especially seafood and pineapple as they are so delicious.
Do you think this experience will influence you in your job back at home? Yes, this has. This helped me to discover who I am. After I volunteered at the school, I became more interested in becoming a teacher for deaf kids abroad. I think I will need to do some more volunteering until I can truly know myself and exactly know what sort of job I want. I really hope I can become a teacher for deaf kids (you never know, maybe even in the Philippines) to encourage them to be successful in their life like I did and go to university or college. Won’t it feel so amazing to know that I was the one who made deaf kids successful their life?
What would you say to others thinking about taking part in a volunteer project? I believe if people decide to volunteer somewhere, they will discover who they are and this will make them stronger and more confident. I also believe that people should volunteer alone so they will meet lots more people and learn so much more than if they volunteer with a friend or someone who they know as this may hold each other a bit back. People will become a lot stronger and confident if they volunteer abroad with someone, which they never met before.


“I believe anyone can volunteer abroad including deaf people as there is nothing to stop them from doing anything. I would say that this is definitely worth a go and you should all go for it! I feel a lot more confident with myself than who I was and I am more confident to communicate with hearing people and I am much less worried about what some people think of me and care a lot less about this too. It was really amazing to see the Philippines and live in their culture as this has shocked me a little bit and given me a different view of life. I also discovered who I am and this has helped me know what I want to do in the future.”