Name: Minna Chae
Hometown: Corona, California
Nationality: United States
Languages spoken: English, Korean (fluent)
Occupation: Bookkeeper at Aerosystems Engineering
Volunteer Abroad: Caring for Children in Need in Rabat, Morocco
Duration: 5 weeks
Start month: May 2018
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I decided to become a UBELONG Volunteer after reading and listening to many physician assistants’ stories on how they volunteered. I did my research on what programs may be available to me, as I was not affiliated with a 4-year university that provides opportunities for volunteering abroad. After reading UBELONG’s testimonials of volunteers and the prospective areas that I may be able to serve, I was interested! The project to care for children was what spoke to me on a personal and emotional level. I was confident that I would be able to embark on a life-affirming experience.
What impact did you make on your volunteer project?
I had the opportunity to teach English to toddlers and children under 15 years old. I was able to lead a class full of different ages and help them to communicate using English. Getting the children to stay engaged was the highlight of my day. Being able to see them feel comfortable in communicating in English was a reflection of my work. I hope that I was able to help them understand how valuable education is and the importance of it.
How did you grow personally during your volunteer trip?
I was able to learn a lot more about myself by stepping out of my comfort zone. Going to Rabat, Morocco has helped put my life into perspective while continuously learning new things about people and the world. My time spent with the children and host family will always have a special place in my heart.
Being placed in a country where I look completely different, do not speak the language with a terrible sense of direction has molded me into a stronger individual that will continue to serve the underserved with love, confidence, and a humble heart. Rabat gave me the gifts of fortitude, the confidence to laugh at myself, and the ability to communicate and connect with people outside the boundaries of words.
In a sentence or less, how would you sum up your volunteer experience?
Volunteering abroad through UBELONG has changed my life by giving me the opportunity to impact a few lives.