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2 Week Specials, Care & Community in Mongolia by Sophia De Lucia

Care & Community volunteers in mongolia

I undertook the incredible challenge of travelling to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia to take part in Projects Abroad’s High School Special programme. Being only 16, this was the first time I’d ever travelled abroad alone and I was undoubtedly quite nervous. However, I didn’t have to be as the whole project was very well organised and I felt supported throughout my time in Mongolia. I arrived at the airport and was immediately greeted by a Projects Abroad supervisor as well as the other high school volunteers. The arrival process and transfer to our hotel was very quick, allowing us time to rest before starting our first day on the project.

My Care Project

I joined the Care & Community Project so my time was split between organising activities for the children and then helping to build the foundation of their new school room next door.

Construction of a new classroom

All of the children on my placement were so friendly and eager to learn so it was a pleasure to play games and teach them English songs every day. Furthermore, as a volunteer, I received a lot of support from my project supervisor on what type of activities I could plan and where to find any resources that I needed.

Another aspect of the Care Project was to assist the English teacher in delivering his lessons to some of the older children. This was one of my favourite aspects of the project as it allowed me to use my skills as a native English speaker to help the students with their pronunciation. I was also able to give one-on-one support to any children who were struggling, allowing the main teacher to focus on teaching the rest of the class.

In addition, I also got to build the foundations of the adjacent school room which, despite being incredibly tiring, was also very rewarding. I loved how our hard work on the project was going to leave a long-lasting impact on the children at the placement.

Sophia overlooking the city in Mongolia

Our weekend activities

It wasn’t all work, as over the weekends, our supervisors organised many trips and activities to introduce us to the beauty of Mongolia. They taught us about the history of this great nation. Some of the highlights included visiting the Chinggis Khan memorial and the beautiful Gorkhi-Terelj National Park, as well as trips to various museums, cultural concerts and a brilliant night of karaoke.

Food in Mongolia

Prior to coming on this trip, one of my biggest concerns was the type of food we would be eating because as a vegan, I was worried that this may be difficult to cater for. However, I was really grateful with how helpful all the staff was as they found many restaurants which served amazing food that I could eat.

The mountains in Mongolia title=

Final thoughts

I highly recommend going on the Care & Community Project to Mongolia as it will open your eyes to a different culture and way of life. It will also allow you to experience the joy of helping others. The High School Special is especially good for meeting other like-minded people whom you definitely will stay in contact with after the trip.

I’m incredibly grateful for everything Projects Abroad did for me and for the life-changing experience they provided.

Sophia De Lucia

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