Name: Helene Dante
Hometown: Oslo, Norway
Languages spoken: Norwegian, English (fluent), Spanish (beginner)
School: Blindern Videregående
Past travel experience: Moderate
Volunteer Abroad: Caring for Disabled Children in Hanoi, Vietnam
Duration: 2 weeks
Start month: January 2016
Claim to fame: Helene studied in New York for two months while in college. Helene, welcome to the UBELONG family!
Why did you decide to become a UBELONG Volunteer?
Two of my really close friends told me that they had heard about a volunteering organization where you could choose where to work and where you could work in a different pace of time and choose between various types of work. I read a lot about UBELONG on the Internet and all of the reviews were really good. I have always wanted to volunteer and to be able to make a little impact and help out to someone who needs it. I mailed a little with a woman, who later became my mentor, and all my questions were perfectly answered. So I decided to volunteer.
What was your impact on your volunteer project?
The impact of my project was much better than I thought. The children were happy and treated well by the teachers. They had educational lessons every day. I noticed that the teachers had a lot of children to take care of. And to do this every day from early morning to late night with many different children that had different needs it must have been difficult. For the teacher to provide special attention for those in need must have been challenging. I felt that I could help out in these situations and give the kids more attention when the teacher had his lessons.
Also when the kids had their lunch I saw that there was need for more support. To be able to help and feed the children made it easier for the teacher. I felt that I was a resource they had use for.
What is your favorite memory?
My favorite memory must have been one of the days when we went to the park with the children. They were so extremely happy to be outside and run around and play. They were so excited and wanted to show me how fast they could run, and how long they could throw a ball. Their joy and laughter made me really happy.
In a sentence or less, how would you describe the locals you met?
The locals I met were so excited to meet someone who came from the other side of the world. We had difficulties with the communication, but during my weeks I learned how to communicate in other ways than speaking. We had a lot of fun and I learned a little Vietnamese, which was really fun!