“I gave the children English knowledge and happy vibes.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Samantha DSouza
Age: 26
Hometown: Beaconsfield
Nationality: Australia
University: Edith Cowan University
Languages spoken: English
Past travel experience: Avid
Volunteer Abroad: Care and Teach for Children from Poor Backgrounds in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 2 weeks
Start month: January 2015
Claim to fame: Is a qualified personal trainer!

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
Ever since I saw the adverts on TV as a child myself, showing children the same age as me with no drinking water I had been planning to volunteer. Finally a great opportunity came up with the right dates to volunteer and the right dates to take time from work, I booked my trip only a week in advance. I had been doing research for years on different volunteer programs but UBELONG seemed the most legitimate.

What was your impact on your volunteer project?
I think my impact was only minor as I could only stay for two weeks, it is such a short time when you are trying to build relationships with locals. Nevertheless I feel like I gave the children some general English knowledge and some happy vibes!!

What were your major challenges?
I think the main challenge was building trusting relationships to gain the respect from the children. Once you build this they become more open to different learnings.

In a sentence or less, what did you think about the food?
The food varied, sometimes it was amazing and I would go back for thirds, other days I had no idea what I was eating but it was never terrible.

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Related post:
Meet Elien Van Wynsberghe, a Catholic University of Leuven student, who volunteered with UBELONG on the caregiving project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.