“Just returned from my second IVS project wanted to share my experience. This time I went to Nigeria for four and half weeks to work at Arrows of God Orphanage. I cannot explain how nervous I was before I left the UK, not knowing what kind of place I’d be living in, the people, how safe I was going to be etc, but all that aside I was very excited and just wanted to get there.
“Well I arrived at Lagos airport and as soon as I stepped off the plane…wow, the heat just hit me, I felt like I was inside an oven! It took me over two hours to get my luggage; Nigerians certainly don’t travel light!! Among the mass crowd of people outside the airport, I eventually located Kola (member of VWAN). The drive to his house was scary, I was surprised to make it alive, the roads were very hectic! I stayed with Kola for a few days where also two other volunteers were staying, Marietta from Germany and Missey from USA (who became and still are very close friends of mine). We spent those days getting to know each other, getting used to local life, the people, the food, the very, very hot weather! We then had a three-day training seminar which was held in Iperu. There were other volunteers there from other parts of Africa too. I met some great people there and we had so much fun getting to know everyone.
“After leaving the seminar I was then departing from my much loved new friends, Marietta and Missey and heading to Victoria Island to Arrows of God orphanage. I went there with two other volunteers, Krystal from USA and Flo from Switzerland and spent the remainder of my time there (3 and half weeks).
“The orphanage is very well established compared to some of the other orphanages and other projects that Missey and Marietta had been to. The kids were amazing there, so well behaved and although have very little, appreciated everything. I spent my time there playing with the children and teaching at the nursery/primary school which was located within the orphanage.
“On the whole I loved it at the orphanage and loved Nigeria, although at times found it hard to accept their way of discipline but realise that it is their culture and the children are used to the way of life over there. Generally Nigerians are very welcoming and I did not feel at danger while as I was there, although you still have to be very aware of the corruption that goes on and not to be too naive.
“I’ve learned a lot being out there and have definitely made me want to continue with more voluntary projects. I am planning to go back to Nigeria at Christmas for 2 weeks to spend time with the kids and to visit another orphanage along with seeing the friends I’ve made.”