SLV.Global on the BBC!
From January to June, 2013 the BBC2 Programme See Hear followed our volunteer Aliya whist she volunteered at our Deaf Schools Project, in Sri Lanka. Aliya has been an inspiration to so many people and, since then, we have had eight more Deaf people joining our team.
You can watch the full video here.
Aliya began by explaining that she was apprehensive when she first arrived in Sri Lanka. It can definitely be quite a culture shock settling in to a new country! By the time she gave us a tour of her homestay, however, Aliya seemed to be very settled in.
Aliya explained that she thinks living in a homestay with a Sri Lankan family is a really really great idea. It gives volunteers the opportunity to become fully engaged with a different culture and to live life like a local.
Living in the homestay felt like being in a 'proper home' for Aliya during her time in Sri Lanka. She explained that the volunteers would eat breakfast and dinner together as a group, while also sharing stories about their day and playing card games in the evening.
Aliya volunteered at a deaf school while she was in Sri Lanka. She showed us around the school while explaining that each day she had a certain amount of timetabled lessons; on this particular day she was teaching her favourite class!
Aliya outlined some of the challenges that arose while she was volunteering. The language barrier is a challenge all volunteers in Sri Lanka are faced with and this challenge is not something Aliya is spared. She didn’t know any Sri Lankan sign language and the students she worked with don't know any British Sign Language! Aliya found that, to overcome this, the classes had a strong focus on mime and drawing, allowing everyone to communicate and to have fun at the same time.