Today see’s the start of a series of blog posts named ‘Why I Volunteer’, created to spread some of the love we have for volunteering abroad, including the good it does and the special bonds it creates.
It’s as simple as it sounds, we’re going to be speaking to those who have visited various volunteering projects from all over the word, and find out – in their own words – exactly why they loved it and what they, and the people they helped, gained from the experience.
We are starting with Brittany Pirozzollo; she’s the 25 year old, Online Marketing Manager for STA Travel’s USA division and recently spent time in remote Koh Phra Thong, Thailand.
Koh Phra Thong, Thailand
Brittany’s Experience Of Volunteering In Thailand
There are few things in the world better than a child’s smile. That non-jaded, pure joy, utterly happy kind of smile that radiates deep in your core. The only thing better than that smile is knowing you are the reason for that. I experienced this kind of smile this past November while volunteering in Koh Phra Thong, Thailand.
Seeing first hand how your efforts you have helped those less fortunate is a big plus to volunteering abroad
The small village of Koh Phra Thong was destroyed by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2006. The lives of these people were forever altered, as families lost loved ones, their possessions and their livelihood. The one thing the tsunami did not take was their resilient spirit. Despite enduring unfathomable hardship, the people of Koh Phra Thong steadfastly endeavoured in rebuilding their community and with the help of STA Travel, were able to do that.
Your time and effort goes a long way, and provides you with an experience you will never forget
By 2011, an entirely new village in Koh Phra Thong was built, with new homes, a new school as well as a new community centre. I was fortunate enough to be there to add the final touches to the community centre before the big grand opening. We spent a week building, painting, gardening and working with the local children to make sure the community centre was built just for them. We capped off the week with a giant celebration with the entire village. We feasted on traditional Thai dishes, gave tours of the new centre and danced till dawn with the village children.
Seeing the gratitude and happiness on their faces is why I volunteer.