Holiday with a Heart
I have recently turned 29 and one present I received was a list of ‘must do things’ before you reach your 30th. Although my friend meant well, the thought of reading a list that reminds you of all the things you haven’t achieved was not the greatest present. Thankfully though, I found I had already ticked off a good half of the list and felt that some of the other suggestions were either a little farfetched or just plain stupid, and therefore could be ignored e.g “give yourself a mains electric shock”
There was one suggestion though, that I was shocked I hadn’t already done; “Volunteer”. Yes, I had volunteered to help out in play productions or at a couple of friends’ events, however I hadn’t actually taken part in a volunteer project. The thought of not having really volunteered made me feel quite disappointed with myself. I’m not a selfish person but time just seems to get away from you. I have always wanted to take some time off and volunteer abroad but it’s easy to forget your plans or good intentions when so much else is happening. Like most of us, I have a 9 to 5 job, well actually these days more like 9 to 7 (but that doesn’t have quite such a good ring to it). When I get time off I just want to relax, but is that really a good enough excuse?
I had an upcoming two week holiday booked in India, and felt like it could be a good opportunity to change my attitude. Before I left I not only looked for activities in Goa but also for volunteer opportunities. My search results for activities and day trips in Goa were never ending however my volunteer search was not as successful. The problem was that I only had two weeks to spare and most projects lasted a lot longer. As much as I wanted to help, I just couldn’t seem to find a project to help in…then I found Holiday with a Heart.
Holiday with a Heart works with charities around the world, including two in Goa. They have one day volunteering opportunities available in their ‘People’ projects that work with children with little or no access to education and their ‘Planet’ projects which work with charities that endeavour to protect and preserve the environment.
Their projects were just what I was looking for! I opted for one of their people projects and spent the day with some of the most beautiful children, teaching English, Arts and playing Games on the beach. The day was so well organised and is definitely one of my favourite experiences yet. It was amazing to see the great work the charity El Shaddai was doing and to help in a small way. Holiday with a Heart also has fundraising initiatives for each of the charity partners that focus on helping communities create a sustainable future. Having seen first-hand the work the El Shaddai does, I’m already looking forward to becoming involved in the fundraising project.
I really recommend this experience to everyone who reads this, as you won’t regret taking part. I’m now much grateful for my friends birthday present as it spurred me on to take part in my volunteering activities.