Our biggest realization so far in 2018 is that when our first graduates leave our program, we want to take a couple of weeks to improve our systems before inviting the next 120 children to our daily classes. Firstly, it has become apparent through valuable volunteer feedback that we should make some adjustments due to our recent growth. Sometimes we have 3-4 volunteer joining us at the same time, and this brings the possibility of splitting up the class into groups with different themes depending on the students level. However, this is not possible in our current house. In addition, our lease is up soon. Our biggest contributors Kavlifondet suggested that we started looking for a bigger place with several lesson rooms, and this is exactly what we have been doing. It’s not an easy task. For example, a perfect house was available, but it was too close to the main road and we would like our children to have a safe path to and from our house. Another house didn't have a playground for our children, nor a place for us to grow our vegetables. However, we are happy to announce we have found the right house and are in the process of fixing everything! We will share some photos of the new house in the coming weeks.
When I starting thinking about moving, I realized that the saddest thing to leave behind from our current house is all our volunteer notes and paintings on the walls. The walls are filled to the rim with encouraging words and messages of love. I want us to continue this tradition in the new house, so if you ever find yourself in Aay’s Village, be sure to leave your mark on our walls! This is probably the easiest way to recognize that a volunteer has been with us, but if you look closer, you find other marks. Firstly, our children are not afraid of “farangs” any more. Farang means a person from the west. So the meeting between our children and our volunteers equips the children with the possibility to meet people from all over the world and all the input they get from this experience help shape their image of the world and maybe develops a openness towards different cultures and ways of life. That being said, our volunteer a never try to impose their political or religious beliefs on our children. That is one of our most important ethical standpoints. Furthermore, our children’s English is developing quick, and this is because of the conversations they have with our volunteers. Some of our oldest students are on social media and continue to communicate with our volunteers after their stay in Aay’s Village. A friendship for life, and the internet allows them to keep in touch, which we are so happy about.