Volunteer work is a popular way for people to travel, to experience the culture of a country, or to give something back. What ever the reason it can be an opportunity to develop new skills, meet new people, and to grow as a person.
At the New Life Foundation the volunteers have the unique opportunity to work with, and along side people who have started on their own path to recovery, whether it is from addiction, stress, or depression. The volunteers also get the opportunity to explore an alternative way of life through mindful living.
We’d like to share with you some of the experiences our volunteers have had whilst at New Life.
JASPER – 21 from Belgium. He chose New Life because there were many options for work and many interesting classes. Through being at New Life he has learned that he can work in groups, but not alone. He says that if you come from a western developed country, as he does, there’s too much stress. He wants life to be more real, from the heart, and less materialistic.
Jasper has worked in our organic garden and making earth buildings. He has learned how to make cement, which he didn’t know how to do before, and he helped build a roof. He says “you can try things here and if you make mistakes no one gets mad – you just fix your mistakes.”
DAVID – 27 from Ireland. He wanted to volunteer in Thailand and New Life seemed like a nice place to interact with people. He was also interested in the projects, Yoga, and community living. He says “here everybody is one and it’s easy to talk to people – it’s like family.” He likes the gardening team, but he likes earth building even more as it was his interest in Ireland. Before New Life, he felt nervous around authority figures, and being in large crowds, but after spending time working with the different groups at New Life he feels much more comfortable.
ANJA – Switzerland. She was attracted to the program provided at New Life: Yoga, the Enneagram, mindfulness, Tai Chi, and other classes. Before New Life, she had been traveling and has been following the Yoga Path. At New Life, Anja has been able to use her new skills to teach Yoga.
Her volunteer work involves working with the gardening team, which she says she finds physically quite demanding, “we are in the sun a lot and the work is very physical, but I do feel good and fit in my body because of this” She enjoys being out with nature and working with the earth. “Gardening is karma yoga for me. Just being mindful and doing one thing at a time, and living in the present moment has been a rewarding experience. New Life is like a human playground, you get to meet so many different people with different stories and they are all exchanging information and experiences.”
ALICIA – 31 Australia. I had decided I didn’t want to live in Australia anymore and made plans to travel around the world. I soon found traveling alone often meant it was hard to get off the tourist path. I decided I wanted to live in one place for a longer period to really connect. I felt I’d learn more about myself and about volunteering doing it this way.
I am learning that it can be hard to live in a community, everyone has their own way of doing things and has their own stuff going on. Being mindful seems to magnify this. But this is also why it teaches me so much about myself, my interactions with people and the direction I want my life to take. A lot of people are here to make positive changes in their lives, big changes, and it’s exciting to be apart of.