I decided that I wanted to do something positive in the local community, therefore I decided to volunteer. I got KRAN’s details from Canterbury volunteer bureau and contacted them about the opportunity to teach maths and help as a teaching assistant in English classes.
Apart from helping during English classes, I taught some of the more mathematically able students the maths they would need to cope with studying GCSE maths. Many of my ex-students have now gone onto further study in maths, engineering, mechanics and many other useful trades, whilst some have gone straight into employment. Some of my students had experience of higher maths (which we would deem A-level standard in this country), and I hope some of these students will make eventually make it to University.
KRAN is a fantastic place. With all the negative press about refugees, they find it extremely difficult to raise funds for their work and yet with very limited funds, they teach our youngsters English, British values, history, home economics and a range of other useful things a young person would need to have a fighting chance of making a success of their time in Britain. One of the things that surprised me was the fact that most of these young people are determined to go back to their country of origin once it becomes safe for them to do so. On a personnel level volunteering at KRAN has helped me massively. I’ve gained confidence, invaluable teaching experience, I’ve been able to gain a great reference but most importantly (for myself at least) I’ve realised that I’m not a bad person. Just someone who made some mistakes as a kid. I used to imagine that I had a hard upbringing but these youngsters have been through unimaginable hardship and make my childhood seem like something out of Mary Poppins. It’s also a real privilege to see these youngsters blossom under the care and support of the teaching staff at KRAN.
I’ve recently moved and unfortunately I’ve not been able to help as much as I used to, but I still intend to carry on volunteering with KRAN in the future. I also occasionally bump into some of my ex-students and it always cheers me up to hear what they’re doing with their lives since they’ve moved onto bigger things.
If you’re thinking about volunteering yourself I would suggest that whatever your background, give it a go. KRAN need all the support they can get and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll gain from the experience.