Worth a Word Wednesday: Smiles

 Wordless Wednesday – has now been renamed ‘Worth a Word’ Wednesday simply because I can’t stick to the rules of NO WORDS 🙂

Smiles of Rotary Youth Exchange Students
Smiles

These girls are part of a group of Rotary Exchange Students who are spending a year in Australia. They are away from their friends and family, out of their comfort zone, learning to speak a new language and as you can see in this photo, they are loving life!  What a great photo for this week’s Worth a Word Wednesday!

My husband and I are proud to be involved in the Rotary Youth Exchange Program which means we get to meet regularly with these students, get to know them, help them cope in their new environments, offer support when required and provide assistance in integrating to Australian life in general. Rotary Clubs around the world have been participating in this program for many years and the success of the program speaks for itself.

We had a great weekend camp where the Inbounders (the students from overseas who arrived here in July 2017 for a year) met the Outbounders (the students leaving Australia for a year overseas in January 2018), as well as parents and other Rotarian volunteers.  It was a great success with many friendships forged and lots of lessons learnt by all involved.

Group photo (just missing one student) at Rotary Youth Exchange weekend
Group photo

The weekend was a great mix of talks, information and fun.  Some of the fun activities included a bush-walk, river crossing, and crate stacking.  The crate stacking activity involved lots of team work, communications skills, confidence building, supporting others, overcoming fears, trust, resilience –  as well as lots of laughs.

 

The facilitator summed it up to the group afterwards by saying that throughout their year away from home they will have many times when things are shaky, just as the crates shook during the activity, and they will need to call on their communication skills, trust others, ask for help, overcome fears and they will gain confidence and grow.  It was amazing to see them take on the challenge and the lessons they learnt throughout the afternoon.  I enjoyed watching it all happen and it reinforced again why I do what I do.

Volunteering is very rewarding!  Do you enjoy volunteering too? I’d love to hear of your involvement and experiences.

 

Feel free to join in with Worth A Word Wednesday, post a photo and use as many words as you like!

Rotary youth exchange students in Australia
Welcome to Australia

I love it when people leave me a comment, so don’t be shy – comment away!

Debbie 🙂

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19 Replies to “Worth a Word Wednesday: Smiles”

  1. Exchange programmes are fantastic for young people, and it’s great that people like you and your husband help make them happen. I agree that volunteering is incredibly rewarding. I’ve (almost) always felt that I got back much more in satisfaction than I put in (usually in time) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My parents were (and still are) actively involved in their communities, and growing up, it seemed absolutely normal to me that people contribute their time and skills — simply because they’re needed. I thought it’s what everyone did 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great program, Deb. I participate in projects through my church but no regular volunteer work at this point in my life. I am sure when I am retired I’ll get involved in something fulfilling that keeps me on the streets – instead of burrowed in a rocking chair.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rotary Exchange programs are such an exciting and beneficial opportunity for all involved. I am so glad that you and your husband are helping to make this happen. Great post and photos!

    Liked by 1 person

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