Our volunteering at Svitac (Firefly) – Kirby Richman and Jessica Perkes, USA
We’re Kirby and Jessica from Washington State, USA. We’re best friends and cousins. We’ve been planning on traveling internationally for a few years, after Jessica graduated from university. We decided that we really wanted to do more than just the tourist thing and hopefully make a little bit of a difference. We found Love Volunteers which had a huge database of international NGO’s and we got to work looking for an organization that would be a good fit. We were hoping to find a good organization where we could work with kids. We were super lucky to find and choose Svitac (Firefly).
The Svitac (Firefly) team is amazing. They made the first week less stressful and really helped us to settle in. We were only in Brčko for two months but we really felt comfortable and knew our way around after only a few weeks. They put us to work right away, assisting with workshops and planning our own for the kids. It’s really hard to be in a foreign country where you’re not able to speak the local language, but the Svitac (Firefly) team helped us to acclimate. It was also incredible to work with the other international volunteers. We learned so much from the diversity of perspectives and cultures.
The best part was working with the kids. They have so much energy and enthusiasm for the daily activities. Even though the language barrier made it difficult, we were able to connect with them and become friends. We are going to miss their smiles and incomprehensible (to us) chattering.
It has been a wonderful experience. There was a struggle deciding where to volunteer both geographically and organizationally, but we are super happy we found Svitac (Firefly) and Brčko, BiH. We have enjoyed the children, the Svitac (Firefly) team and getting familiar with the local restorani (restaurants). Brčko, with its small town charms and super welcoming people, has claimed a place in our hearts. A little side note, but very important bonus…..the food is amazing.
Kirby Richman and Jessica Perkes, USA
Svitac (Firefly) volunteers, March/April 2018