September 29, 2011
I’ve been working on the teaching English programme for EDV for 3 weeks now. Having been teaching in British and International school contexts for six years I decided to take some time out and volunteer for a charity within a teaching capacity. Within the teaching programme I have lessons five times a week with Haitian teachers and a further four hours a week working alongside one Haitian teacher to share ideas in planning and preparing his lessons.
The commitment of the Haitians to this programme is immense. The Haitian teachers have their own full time occupations yet find the time not only to improve their own English but to pass on their knowledge to others who wish to learn, and do so with humour and smiles. Conversation lessons often leave me giggling for the rest of the day. That said, I have also been humbled by how a passing question from me can result in a candid response of some of their horrific post-earthquake experiences.
The students of the Haitian teacher I support show a similar tenacity and see English lessons as their passport to better education and employment opportunities, as a way to communicate with foreign aid agencies and ultimately, as a way to provide their families with a better future. They are some of the most studious classes I have seen and the longevity of this programme is massively important to them, both in terms of the community it has created and the hope that it offers.
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