Reflection From A Volunteer Teacher

by Dana Hale

February 2, 2012

 

In September 2011, I spent three weeks as a volunteer English teacher for the Jatukik Providence foundation in Kinshasa, DRC. The busy neighborhood where the job training center is located was bustling with activity: vendors, pedestrians, workers pushing carts and cars maneuvering along the bumpy roads. On my first day, I arrived at the center to find about 20 people waiting in the space outside that became our classroom. The number of students increased daily until nearly 60 had showed up for lessons during my stay. I spent my final week at the EVEN/EDEN orphanage teaching songs, vocabulary and games.

 

The most uplifting part of my stay was the conversations I had with adults and children where they expressed their concerns about their country and their deep desire to build a better life. Liliane, a 25-year-old student and mother, spoke about wanting to increase her English and computer skills because they were so important to her chosen career field of accounting. It encouraged me to know that I had been able to help her with her goals. I wanted to go to the DRC initially because of what I had read about the country and because I felt my knowledge of French would facilitate connecting with the people. The most difficult part of the experience was seeing the unmet needs—material and emotional—particularly among the orphans. My volunteer experience showed me that anything we are willing to contribute—in time, donations or skills—can inspire and help the Congolese face their country’s challenges.

 

 

 

One Response to “Reflection From A Volunteer Teacher”

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