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“Some children had never learned English before so they were very pleased and happy.”

UBELONG

UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Ana Pedro
Age: 33
Hometown: Lisboa, Portugal
Nationality: Portugal
University: Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Degree: Environmental Engineering
Languages spoken: Portuguese, English (Intermediate), French (Intermediate), and Spanish (Intermediate)
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Care and Teach for Children from Poor Background in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 2 weeks
Start month: January 2016
Claim to fame: In 2006 Ana was part of an international gathering of volunteers, attended by Israeli, Palestinian, Spanish and Portuguese volunteers. This was a new experience because she didn’t know anyone nor the city they traveled to. A true UBELONGer!

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
I am a volunteer in a Portuguese Organization for 15 years now and I’m in contact with hospitalized children receiving oncological treatment. I had a strong wish to get to know different realities, and other organizations, to be part of a project with big impact in people’s lives but with short resources and maybe share some of my knowledge and assistance. Of course in the base of all that is the purpose of getting out of my comfort zone. In my research I found UBELONG and my doubts became certainties – I had made my decision with confidence.

What was your impact on your volunteer project?
I was told that the local organization where I’d be volunteering had never received volunteers before. Some children in the local organization had never learned English before so they were very pleased and happy. With my daily presence I have tried to convey to each and everyone that they really matter and the importance of knowledge in their lives. I have not only been able to teach but also played a lot, sang and danced with them.

What were your major challenges?
My major challenge was not knowing what was planed for me to do in the volunteer project. I had to prepare the class of the day after every evening, but I really value that!

In a sentence or less, what was your funniest moment?
My funniest moment happened once at the local organization where I spent all day singing “Frozen” with the children.

Related post:
Meet Tyler Walz, a grad from Boston University, who volunteered with UBELONG at the business project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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