Harika works full time as a lawyer. She has been volunteering with SPI since September 2018 in Turkish Conversation Club and lately she has been participating in the online conversation club. We asked her what this change meant for her.
“Volunteering online with SPI during the pandemic is a fascinating experience for me. It gives me the opportunity to keep working on something useful and to support children who are going through hard times. As we all can imagine, pandemic has a huge effect on kids in many aspects. They have been away from their schools, teachers, friends, playgrounds etc. Indeed they have been away from living their childhood somehow. During these times though, me and the children from SPI have been having a mutual, amazing experience learning new things, having fun, sharing love, and providing support and compassion to each other. And all of that in a virtual space of Zoom!
At first, I thought it would be difficult to attract children in an abstract, online world. However, I have immediately noticed their motivation to learn, make new connections, and be social despite these circumstances. SPI’s online activities create new ways to keep refugee children active and allow them to learn and have fun with us volunteers, as well as with other kids in the group. I believe they feel our love and care for them. I also see them learning a lot during our online activities, which makes me feel fulfilled.
As a volunteer, I must also say that I’m learning from kids as much as they learn from me. Online volunteering helps me be more creative and fun too!
We connect with each other and that’s the most important. So despite all the hard circumstances around us, I feel really happy and privileged to be able to experience online volunteering with SPI and such an amazing group of kids!”