By Teun Snijders, a student of Avans Hogeschool, The Netherlands
To start with, my general experience was good, really good.
We are almost at the end of our time that we are working here and I enjoyed almost every second of it. I woke up every workday at 06:00 to go to work and I didn’t mind it a single day. I even start to miss the school and kids if I was a couple days off. I felt like a part of the school and I felt appreciated. The school told me and my volunteer coach colleague that we made a difference and the volunteer coach now got a job and will be working at the school as an actual PE teacher so that is good news for the future when I am gone.
However, I don’t think I learned a lot that I can take back with me to the Netherlands. Not as a student physiotherapy or as just a Dutch traveller. The experience for me with CASO and PS4L was that it seemed all a bit unorganized. Especially after the first two weeks when we started to work with PS4L at the schools. I have been making assignments and evaluations where I never had feedback on and there was zero to none contact with both organizations. You would only hear PS4L if they wanted to need you over the weekend and I have to say that worked demoralizing. Like I said I loved working at and with the school but I hated all the paperwork and even more when I got the idea I am doing it for nothing. However, I am to blame as well because I never asked for feedback or more contact. That was passive of me and makes me part of the problem.
I can’t look behind the scenes of course but I think in general the project would work a lot better if there was better and more communication between CASO, PS4L, the students and the school. In my opinion, nobody felt responsible for anything now and I don’t know if I did anything good or not.
Like I said I loved my time here and I even extended my visa, I enjoy what the country has to offer. I hope as well that this country will make huge leaps forward and it will reach the same standard of safety as the Netherlands with a wider protection and opportunity for everyone. Even though that tackling poverty and crime is a strong and permanent problem.