Finally, we have begun our Term 3 and I got to be part of an on-campus experience called Volunteering Immersion. Our group consists of eight girls and two staffulty members and originally, we wanted to volunteer in different NGOs over the course of the two weeks we have. However, things worked out a bit differently and now, we are going to work on our own project and visit some NGOs a few times.
For our second day of our Volunteering Immersion, our group leaders have decided to give us a special challenge: a 24-hour challenge. What could we do in 24 hours to help others? What is needed by the people surrounding us? We decided on trying to clean up our school and neighbourhood a bit and making it look more beautiful.
So, we started in the morning with discussing and planning. Our first plan was to repaint our school’s fence or to remove the graffiti that is on it. Unfortunately, we did not know how to exactly do it and this problem needed a bit more planning beforehand, so we decided to postpone it. Still, we set ourselves some other goals: 1. to clean up the streets around our school and 2. to build at least one bench in our school’s garden.
Cleaning and building
So, some of us set out to clean the streets. We were sweeping away all the leaves, branches and trash. We also decided to clear of all the weeds. The cleaning took us a bit longer than I expected us but while we were doing so, some people stopped by to talk to us for a few seconds. One man gave us some advice how to clean the streets, while another one was amazed and surprised that school students were cleaning the streets.
While we were cleaning the streets and the garden, some of the other girls were working with the benches. They managed to repair them, repaint them and they were working on building a new one. Since we already have a bench with a giraffe pattern on it, the girls decided to paint another one with a zebra pattern, which managed to turn out really nicely.
We decided then to call an end to our 24h challenge since we were all very tired from the warm weather and the work we did. However, we all really enjoyed our day.
I might not be the biggest fan of cleaning things up because even cleaning up my dorm room is something that I am trying to avoid as much as possible, but it was a lot of fun. Especially, people stopping by and expressing their surprise and happiness about us cleaning the streets up was really rewarding (which also made us happy and work harder).
Will we continue with what we have started? All of us came up with great ideas to make our neighbourhood even more beautiful. It might not be during our Volunteering Immersion that we will continue, but we are definitely planning to not just stop where we have finished today.