I have an amazing timetable, alhamdulillah. My Mondays and Fridays are free, except for the occasional seminars (read: only three in the whole ten weeks) which fall on Mondays.
I usually use up Monday to recuperate from the exhaustion of the weekend’s travels and Friday to explore Manchester. Last Friday turned out slightly different though – I’d volunteered for RocketWorld.
RocketWorld is an intercultural learning adventure for 7-11 year olds. It includes volunteers from all over and the world’s largest touring EarthBall. Organised by the International Society, an independent non-profit organisation in Greater Manchester which works to support international students, promote international friendship and celebrate cultural diversity, it is held in schools, mostly in Manchester and the area around it.
Last Friday, we went to Bolton (about 30minutes-ish drive out of Manchester) to conduct RocketWorld for one of the primary schools! This time round though, we had children as young as 4 year olds, so you can imagine how it must have been like!
Sidenote: There is apparently a child protection act in place so I can only put up pictures that do not show the childrens’ faces. 🙂
How it works is that the different ‘countries’ will be spread out around the hall and await the little rocketeers to come. Students are divided into groups and will be given a ‘passport’ before they embark on their journey around the world. They’ll visit each country for about 10 minutes and learn more from the volunteers. The volunteers can choose to share a dance, how to say hello, the food etc. Once they’re done, they move on to another country!
I had prepared a short presentation for the kiddos, with lots of pictures. Since they’re so young, I figured pictures was the way to go! I mean, ideally, I’d love to do something hands-on/kinesthetic but I couldn’t think of anything ‘Singaporean’. Do we have any dances or games that I can teach them if I were to volunteer again? If you have any ideas, please leave me a message ok? 🙂
Anyways, I had really wanted to do something kinesthetic with them so I ended up bringing them to the huge globe to ‘find’ Singapore. When I pointed it out, a kid even went, “But miss, that’s so small! Are you sure?” Yes my dear, we really are small. 😛
I cannot tell you enough how I much I enjoyed myself! I absolutely adore children and yes, you can say my teacher instinct shone bright and proud that day. 😉
On hindsight, it was indeed quite tiring going through 4 levels of students (I’d meet an average of 3 groups per level) but they were so inquisitive and open to learning about other countries, I only noticed I was tired at the end of the day!
There’s just something magical about sharing knowledge with open minds, you know. ❤
Of course, I also enjoyed meeting people from other countries too! All of them are currently either studying or working in Manchester now and are so so friendly. We are all proud of our countries and so keen on sharing bits of ourselves with others!
I value highly these kinds of intercultural interactions because I passionately believe that peace and harmony will prevail when we have an understanding and mutual respect amongst the different people calling the earth ‘home’.
Also, times like these are great opportunities for me to stand tall and proud as a Malay Muslim Singaporean! 😀
It was definitely an amazing experience and a great way to spend a Friday! I’ll definitely grab the next opportunity to be a part of it when it comes my way, inshaallah! ♥