At the start of this year, life threw a seemingly random, yet fateful journey. Through a friend of a friend...of a friend of a friend...of a friend, I came to discover the wonders of teaching abroad...without even boarding a plane!
After some extensive research, a TEFL course, hours of emails and phone calls, I came up with the ‘Scribble Goes Global Initiative.’ This project allows Scribble Ink to affect positive change beyond the UK. I source schools in developing countries that are struggling with teaching literacy and/or cannot afford to sustain any arts education activities and through the marvellous realms of cyber society. I contact the schools, learn more about their curriculum, the teachers and the schools ethos. Subsequently, I develop lesson plans that enable kids to develop their basic literacy skills in a way that is creative, interactive and empathetic to their culture and way of life.
It’s been a shaky start. The harsh reality is that I’ve had to plough through many procrastinators, people with misplaces agendas, etc. But fortunately, I think I’ve found the light at the end of the tunnel with the Jeremic Advenitst Academy in Kibera, Kenya.
Established in 1994, this school, based in the heart of the slums is constantly faced with caring for children living way below the poverty line and thus, are unable to sustain their basic living needs, let alone education. Jeremic has three pre-school classes, eight primary classes and four secondary classes (three schools in one space). There are 230 students and only 29 staff members!
As if the staff aren’t already inundated with students to cater for, they’re often faced with concerned parents who struggle to pay school fees, out dated text books in worse-than-poor condition, the lack of resources for teachers to educate effectively and of course, time (if there was ever an organisation who could testify that there are never enough hours in a day, it’s Jeremic).
However, through it all, Jeremic do their upmost to uphold their motto: “A hero is an ordinary person who performs an ordinary task in extra-ordinary situations.”
It’s this way of thinking that is evident in the strong-willed teachers, the passionate students, the loving parents, in the ethos of Scribble Ink and hopefully, in you. If you’re interested in finding out more about becoming involved in this initiative, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your queries, suggestions and encouraging comments. All will be appreciated.
It’s early days, but Scribble Goes Global seems to be taking great shape. A lesson on profile writing has already been conducted and I have received some fantastic written pieces. These profiles will be the kick- start for the pen pal writing course our British kids will be taking part in if they join the Little Scribblers’ After School Club (there are a few spaces left by the way so feel free to book yours now).
A huge thank you to the Jeremic Adventist School for their passion and cooperation. And the biggest thank you ever to Richard Kettle who works tirelessly to bridge the gap between Scribble Ink and Kenya.
Here’s to the prospect of a project destined to deliver literacy improvement, art appreciation, and above all, hope.