The Edmond Sun

Features

April 12, 2013

Student plans volunteer trip to New Dehli

OKLA. CITY — Ella Smyth will be paying it forward this summer in New Delhi, India, where she will be volunteering in an orphanage to teach poverty stricken children about hygiene.  

Smyth didn’t grow up in an idealistic nuclear family and those experiences have shaped her into the giving volunteer she strives to be today. Smyth was raised in a neighborhood where single mothers leaned on each other to endure the good times and hardships.

At 27 years old Smyth decided she wanted to take her volunteering efforts overseas and began researching organizations online. She decided that her goals best aligned with International Volunteer HQ based in New Zealand and filled out an application online.

“They asked me extensive questions to make sure I was the right fit and I had to answer why volunteering is important to me,” Smyth said.

New Delhi is where International Volunteer HQ currently needs the most volunteers. Smyth leaves for New Deli on June 17 and will return July 24. The program will cost Smyth about $849 plus the cost of her flight, visa, mandatory flight insurance and vaccinations.  

Smyth will be staying with a host family that will provide her a room, breakfast and dinner. She will be picked-up at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday by a bus that will take her to the orphanage she will be volunteering at.

At the orphanage she will be teaching the children how to brush their teeth, wash their clothes and clean their room. Hosting a spelling bee and reading books to the children is also on the agenda while Smyth is there.

“Through this experience I hope to have personal growth and learn more about servant leadership,” Smyth said. “I am currently a petroleum engineer major at Oklahoma City Community College but this experience might lead me to change my major to work for a nonprofit organization.”

Through Smyth’s nervous chatter she has influenced a fellow student at OCCC to join her in New Delhi. They hope to live with the same host family but don’t yet know if that will be possible. On the weekends Smyth will be free to sight-see in India or volunteer with any other organizations that need help.

To support Smyth or learn more about her journey, visit www.gofundme.com.

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