Amber's Kosova trip with SMF (BYUH intern)

August 31, 2012 | By wickley wickley

This is week 6, the second to the last week before we go back to Hawaii. I’ve seen a lot of changes among the kids, Kosova volunteers, and BYUH students. Those changes are not so big or obvious but yet are significant.


Pairing up with kids clapping and chanting Titi Torea

Some of the kids used to be scared of us while some of them were so excited to see us just because we’re foreigners and they probably didn’t really care what we’re gonna do here. But now they see us as their friends. They would rush to us and give us hugs and kisses as we arrive.

Especially when we’re driving into Brekoc Community, where the minorities (Romans, Egyptians etc.) live, I can’t describe how touching and heart-warming I feel when I see the kids rushing out of their houses towards the community center when they see our vans driving by. Our weekly meeting with them has become something that they look forward to.


Liz once said that one of the goals of SMF (besides teaching them peace and healing them from the war traumas) is to build up the kids’ confidence. And I testify that SMF has done great progress on that goal. By asking them questions and allowing them to choose a song to sing with the whole class, we build up their courage little by little.

Reviewing what they've learned for the whole class

We sometimes let the kids have their own little talent show; it’s fun to watch the kids being so eager to perform for us. There’s one thing I really like in how the volunteers teach classes — they let kids take turns and come up to the blackboard to demonstrate what we taught them last time. Especially when we’re giving the rhythm lessons, almost all the kids would like to try clapping out a rhythm for the whole class.

Demonstrating clapping rhythms for the whole class

Their enthusiasm are so great that the volunteers have to remind them to raise their hands before they make comments.





I have to say something good about the new volunteers as well. When we first arrived in Kosova, some new Kosova volunteers joined SMF. Without a full knowledge of music, those new volunteers still participate all the meetings and classes.

Volunteers participating the activities with the kids

They put a lot of effort into learning music just so that they can help out teaching the kids. They’ve spent extra time learning music notes, rhythms, conducting etc. With their eagerness to become part of the SMF family and to become someone who can change some kids’ lives, they surely have worked hard.


For us the BYUH

students, there are moments we may complain or feel tired even during the lessons with kids. Liz reminds us: “This program is for the kids to have fun. The kids can tell if we’re having fun or not. If they notice that we think this class is boring, there’s no way they’re going to enjoy it.” Even if we’re tired, we still have to remember that the kids are our first priority and that they are the reason why we came all the way from Hawaii to Kosova. Seeing the kids smile

and laugh is truly the greatest reward after a busy class is done. And that’s the main reason why we have to keep this program running, to bring happiness and build up the kids’ confidence.

Happy faces!