My name is Lindsay Motriuk, I’m from Canada, and everyone at DEPDC/GMS just knows me as P’Bua. I recently wrapped up six months of working as a volunteer at DEPDC/GMS and it is rather difficult to sum up my experiences in words. Volunteering at DEPDC/GMS has let my heart blossom and filled me with such joy that I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something so profound.
Most of my time was spent teaching the youth of the Border Youth Leadership Training Programme, or as we call them “the BYLTP”. Those are 22 of the most talented youth I have ever met. I went in with the mentality that I will teach, but at the end of each and every day, it was me who learnt from them. It was a pleasure to see their English language proficiency progress, develop and mature in only six months. Being among these resilient young men and women has filled my days with laughter, love and joy and I carry them in my heart every day.
Alongside teaching the BYLTP, I also volunteered two evenings a week to the Community Learning Centre or as we call it, the CLC. Those evenings shared with my good friend P’JenJira from Germany and the children of Phatak Village, dancing, singing, playing with balloons or running around in circles. Those evenings provided the children with the opportunity to just be children and to P’JenJira and me to bring out the children within ourselves.
I am forever grateful to the staff of DEPDC/GMS, allowing me to be a part of their world. The hard working staff, always filled with light and smiles, were a pleasure to work with. I want to make a special mention of the Mekong Youth Leaders, who work tirelessly to help raising a yet another generation of youth leaders, the BYLTP. You are an incredible group of leaders and inspired me every day to be diligent, dedicated and grateful.
I know that the friendships I built with the other volunteers will be a part of my life forever. They are a group of talented, hard working and intelligent people and have brought much joy to my life. I will never forget our time together. From around the world, we all came together for the same reason: to help the children of the Mekong region. I consider myself lucky to have been a part of this team.
I have said farewell but not goodbye to my family at DEPDC/GMS. I know this is not the end for the many relationships I built throughout these six months and I am sure to return in the future.
If you are thinking of volunteering with DEPDC/GMS like Lindsay, please visit our website to learn about the work of DEPDC/GMS and the application process for prospective volunteers. We look forward to hearing from you.