Conviven is so much more than some classes or a set schedule – it serves the community as a comfortable, safe place that fosters new opportunities and support for those who walk in its door. I loved my time there and can honestly say I truly believe it is a needed, essential part of the community it serves. There are always multiple workshops being offered to the people of the community (besides, English classes, Conviven had dance classes, photography classes, health educational classes, etc. during my time there).
This array of opportunity and creative energy that is fostered at Conviven allows volunteers to truly be creative and to offer other classes they might feel compelled to start. If someone wanted to start a new class or workshop, the opportunity was always there. The staff at Conviven and the community were always welcome to new ideas and opportunities, which is very encouraging for volunteers who are seeking to be useful in new and innovative ways.
I showed up at Conviven everyday, simply ready to help where help was needed. I worked with children who were thirteen and in charge of multiple younger siblings, children who were not sure where their fathers were, children who lived in houses with over 20 people living with them, children who go to school for only 5 hours a day and are in classes with 40+ other students, children who were intelligent and hardworking but lacked the opportunities to realize their potential.
But Conviven opens a possibility where this potential can be addressed, where they have the opportunity to receive real attention and care from the volunteers. As a volunteer, I was able to really connect with some of the students and talk to them about how special they were, how much I believed in them and how I truly believed they could do great things in their lives. It was amazing how well they responded to my encouragement and how they thrived from someone providing personal, sincere attention to their capabilities.
There are incredible things happening at Conviven, and I know I am blessed to have taken part in its work and mission. I hope my meager words have provided encouragement to anyone who is considering working through the many volunteer programs Insight
Jenny worked at Conviven through February 2007-June 2007 as an English teacher, giving lessons three days a week, three hours each day to children between the ages of 5-12.