Many people dream of doing something selfless to help others in their life — whether it’s starting a project to help a community in need, volunteering at a shelter or working to enrich the lives of children. For Amber, a team member at ALO7, she chose a combination of all three. When Amber’s church in Shanghai organized a mission trip to serve the orphans of Insan Permata Orphanage in Indonesia, she knew she had to go and help.
“I felt I could and should do something for those kids,” she said.
So, she packed her bags on August 20th and traveled 4,000 kilometers (about 2,500 miles), ready to dedicate the next two weeks to helping children that needed her.
Read more about Amber’s experience and how she brought her teaching skill set with her to aid children at the Insan Permata Orphanage in Indonesia in the following Q&A.
Q: Amber, you recently went on a mission trip outside of China. What region did you travel to, and what were you doing there?
A: I went on a mission trip to Pekanbaru, Indonesia for two weeks. I wanted to go because my church in Shanghai organized the trip to serve the orphans of Insan Permata Orphanage, and I felt I could and should do something for the kids.
Q: That’s really great, what were some of your most cherished memories from the trip with the kids?
A: My favorite things to do with the kids were cooking for them, playing games and music with them, and just hanging out. On our last night in Pekanbaru, my team cooked a big dinner for the kids. We made potato salad, Russian beef soup, chicken and egg rice bowl and Korean glass noodle. It took us more than two hours to wash, cut, season and cook everything, and everyone loved our food so much that they emptied all the plates! We all had a great time, and that was my most cherished memory of the trip.
Q: That sounds like it was a very powerful moment for your team to bond with the children! Did you use your skill set of teaching English as a second language to help the kids learn while you were there?
A: After I learned that many kids don’t speak English and don’t have much money to buy things they need, I decided to get some books and toys from ALO7 for them. I brought them four Ola and Lele stuffed toys, a set of Fast Phonics (50 books; each book teaches one sound in English with an interesting story), some ALO7 stickers and stamps and 40 ALO7 notebooks to help them learn.
Q: Before you donated the ALO7 supplies, did they have any notebooks or toys?
A: The orphanage’s funding depends on donations, and there was not enough–they needed to share everything they had.
Q: How did the children and staff of the orphanage react to these?
A: The kids were very happy to receive the gifts from ALO7, and they were especially excited about the books. I showed the teachers how to use Fast Phonics to teach pronunciation, and everyone was really fascinated.
Q: How did you help teach the kids and staff at the orphanage how to use Fast Phonics, and do you think this will continue to impact the children’s education even after you left Indonesia?
A: I read a Fast Phonics book for the kids, “The Rabbit Tale,” teaching phoneme “t.” The kids really liked the story and enjoyed reading it with me. The two teachers at the orphanage observed my class, and they will read phonics stories with the kids in future classes. I’m hoping for continued collaboration between ALO7 and the orphanage, maybe they can start using our textbooks to teach their English classes, receive training from us and more!