How did you first find out about Pratthanadee and what attracted you to support them all these years?
I’ve been volunteering since June 2017, so it’s been almost 2 1/2 years. I’ve been teaching some of the women the whole time so we know each other well by now!
What is the best thing about it?
I love the enthusiasm of the women I work with. I teach a class on Sunday mornings and for most of them it’s their only day off work each week and they choose to spend it studying English. I think that’s really impressive. They are eager students and try hard in all that we do. It’s been lovely to watch their confidence blossom along with their English skills. Sometimes I bring in guests for conversation practice so they all get more time speaking English while listening to different accents.
How has it been different from your expectation? Pratthanadee is a like family for the women. They welcome new students to our class and make plans to get together out of class time. They often go out for lunch together. I think it gives them not just life-skills but friendship too. That’s heart-warming as Bangkok is a big city so it must be nice for them to feel so supported.
What would you say to others thinking of volunteering? Do it! You’ll get more from the experience than what you give so it is a double win. I leave every session feeling great because it’s not just about teaching English but also about helping the women to feel good about themselves and to know they are capable and competent.
Is there anything else you would like us to know? Everyone who works at Pratthanadee is fabulous! They are all very welcoming and friendly and help you out as much as they can. If you can’t make some of your lessons they will get a substitute to fill in for you. It’s a well-run and caring organisation. However, if you can’t fit volunteering into your schedule at the moment then consider donating some money. We could really use more books for our English learners to practise reading!