As EVS volunteers in HYP, we are all trying to help the communities as much as possible. Being a part of HYP means being a part of all the other „friend“ NGO’s with whom HYP works on almost daily basis. One of those organizations is Social and Educational Act (ACT), where the Roma community, especially children and youth, can get help in their schooling no matter the subject.
Last Friday, a few of us EVS volunteers went there for the first time to have a non-formal English class for children under 10 years of age. Although a little strange for them at the beginning, meeting us for the first time and without common language or a lasting relationship, they opened up very easily and come to trust us that we are there for them to have a good time. And what gave them away, you ask? Smile! Laughter, happiness and smile.
After proposing games of coloring (where we secretly wanted to teach them colors in English – and succeeded), they started to have fun. And no later than that, they wanted to include us in their fun, since now, in their eyes, we were one of them.
I’m not sure I can say that I have taught them a lot in our first meeting. But I certainly CAN say that they thought us more than we could have imagined.
With just a few simple games together, not only had we learned how to write our names in Greek (it was very important to them that they show us what they know, and teach us what we don’t), we have also learned all the numbers from 1 – 12, so now were quite comfortable to say what time it is in Greek language.
A beautiful, beautiful experience.