“Educational and very rewarding!”

General Impression

Overall Rating:    10 / 10

I volunteered in Tirana, Albania. I specifically worked with autistic children. I was able to switch classes every week, which allowed me to work with children of different age groups and with varying degrees of autism. The first few days were a bit challenging. My presence slightly upset some of the children because they did not know me, so I remained an observant at first. However, it was wonderful to see how quickly the children became affectionate with me. Each day I gained more confidence with the children and they felt more comfortable around me.

The staff at the volunteer center was very welcoming and kind. The English speaking staff members taught me many Albanian words, which were helpful when communicating with the children. Simple commands and phrases were enough to assist them in daily activities. One of the staff members translated and gave me sample program schedules that she uses for individual therapy. Since I am looking into a career in occupational therapy, I found this volunteer experience to be educational and very rewarding. For most of my stay I worked with the older age group. The teenagers were a little exuberant at times, so it was important to stay alert and respond appropriately to their aggression.

I would definitely recommend this program to future volunteers! It was an amazing experience. Albania is also a beautiful country. The mountains and beaches are extraordinary. Buses are inexpensive which makes it affordable to travel on weekends!

Thank you Love Volunteers for your help and support!