Volunteer in The Cook Islands | Sohail's Story - Overcoming inner obstacles to achieving success.

Volunteer in The Cook Islands | Sohail's Story - Overcoming inner obstacles to achieving success

Travel Teachers volunteer programs have been created in order to broaden the horizons of participants through meaningful travel.  We aim to change the lives of our participants in ways they have never imagined.

As an organisation we are extremely fortunate to be able to witness countless success stories during our projects and during this article we will be exploring the success and personal development of one of our volunteers in The Cook Islands, Sohail Khilji.

Volunteer in The Cook Islands | Travel Teacher

Sohail is a student studying at UCFB Wembley, he is from the Watford area. Sohail attended an information session at his university delivered by Matt Ray, Travel Teachers Founder and Director.  As a result of this session Sohail decided to apply for a volunteer program in The Cook Islands in the summer of 2017.

This experience would be life changing for Sohail, as he had never travelled this far in the absence of his family, and he knew it would be a huge step out of his comfort zone.  

There were times during the process leading up to the program where Sohail had second thoughts about the program, but he remained focused on doing it for his personal development, he never gave up and decide to pursue the experience.

Travel Teacher | Volunteer in The Cook Islands

One of Sohail's barriers to participation had been confidence, and he knew that if he was able to get on the plane and embark on a 32 hour flight, this would already be a huge achievement (this is without even starting our program).

Upon arrival into Aitutaki, we could see Sohail’s excitement as he was met at the airport by our team, he seemed like an individual relishing the opportunity to challenge himself, he had already overcome a huge obstacle (the plane journey) he was now ready to attack this experience, and that he certainly did.

Sohail had never met any of his fellow travellers and made a real effort right from the start to initiate communication in order to build relationships with members of his group.  He rapidly became a hugely popular figure by channelling his inner personality and charisma - he was in his element.

Travel Teacher | Volunteer in The Cook Islands

Developing relationships was just one challenges that faced Sohail, another was teaching and supporting his class group.  Sohail was paired with a local English teacher, supporting students in the formative years of their secondary education. He had never taught English, or even taught for that matter, and as part of our program we require all participants to deliver a micro teaching session for 15 minutes to display there competence in teaching, which then goes towards their qualification.

Sohail was a star! His effort, desire and motivation to learn a topic (which was little red ridding hood) and deliver a lesson to the children - standing in front of 25 students in the classroom was just a measure of how far he had travelled in just 2 weeks under our guidance. It was hugely fulfilling for Sohail and our team, we were delighted with his progress on this journey - it was a real success story and an example of what can be achieved if you simply try!

At the end of his experience with us, Sohail had become inspired, he was already talking of planning his next trip somewhere in the world with a group of his friends.  He had learnt how to become independent, he had displayed great resilience and character, he took a huge plunge out of his comfort zone and saw the benefits in the confidence he amassed from the experience.

Sohail is one of many success stories the we have to tell and is proof that Travel really is a teacher.

Take a look at Sohail's journey

For more information on how you can follow in the footsteps of participants like Sohail, visit our website.