January and February are usually busy months for volunteers at Baan Yuu Suk. This year we’ve had a diverse group of volunteers from all different corners of the world. We welcomed Emma and Liz, sisters from Australia, Asaki from Japan, Irene from Switzerland, Eliana and Marcin, a couple from Italy and Portugal respectively, and Alyssa from the USA.
Wondering what our dynamic team of volunteers are up to these days?
“On Valentine’s Day, I made icing-topped sugar cookies with the girls. I brought white, red, blue, and yellow icing and we mixed each of them to create a variety of colors. Afterwards, we decorated the cookies. We used colorful flakes and chocolate chips for toppings. The possibilities were endless! Some of the girls even made special cookies secretly to surprise Jin on her birthday.
The next activity on the schedule is origami! Cranes are the most common paper formations and one of the easier to teach. In Japan, we make one thousand cranes to pray for someone’s recovery, success in an entrance exam, or to wish someone a victory in a sporting event. I want to share this tradition with the girls and aim to complete one thousand cranes in just one week! Some of the younger girls have already made many origami formations. Their favorite is a frog and almost every evening they ask me to teach them how to make paper animals.
Finally, I will also be making dango sweets with the girls. This is a common Japanese desert that is made by boiling balls of flour. There are many flavours including soy and sugar, red bean, seaweed and sesame. I am going to make soy-sugar dango and red bean dango. I really think the girls will have a great time shaping the flour balls and choosing unique flavours.”
“During my stay at COSA, my plan is to have completed two workshops consisting of a female health workshop and a craft activity. Female health was my primary goal because of its importance, and because it’s something all of the girls can relate with. For many, this is a turning point in their lives, both mentally and physically. It would be beneficial for them to know the internal and external female anatomy and how it relates to development and physical changes in the body.
I will also be helping the girls make beaded jewelry. The girls become completely consumed by all craft activities at Baan Yuu Suk and I would like to have the opportunity to create bracelets and necklaces with each girl. It will be a nice keepsake after I finish volunteering and return to the USA.”
“I have a couple of different projects going on with COSA. My photography reportages will focus on the girls, showing their lives at the shelter, and the wonderful connections they have between each other. I also would like to show volunteer’s life and their relationships with the girls. I will also carry on some graphic design tasks including a brochure and various promotional materials. A couple days ago I started drawing a draft for a new brochure for COSA.”