Friday, 9 October 2009

Success with the Edson's English Group

We're so proud to post about how well the students from the Cafe Edson's English lessons are doing with their studies. We continue to work with the students divided between a lower level and upper level, which has opened up so many interesting and fun teaching methods. The lower level has been focusing on small group work thanks to our high volunteer numbers here on the ground. The results have been remarkable and the volunteers have done a brilliant job of planning fun and stimulating lessons for the group.

Our upper level group has also been doing fantastically. They reached a major milestone a couple of months ago when nearly the entire class passed an exam that officially moved them on to the Intermediate TEFL coursebook. This is such an achievement for the group and we are constantly astounded by their dedication and wit. Just the other day when discussing a story about earthquakes, we paused to clarify that the class was all familiar with the term "earthquake". Not only did the class scoff at our underestimation of their vocabulary, but Helton went even further to clarify that an earthquake is (and I quote....) "the tectonic movement of the earth's plates under our feet". WOW!

Just to show you how well the class is doing, we wanted to share a free-writing piece that came in from student Samuel. Samuel is a secondary school student and has been attending our lessons for about a year. While a bit shy in person, his written work excels and upon reading it we were all touched and astounded by his skill. The writing assignment was in response to a short story called "Pass It On", presented by volunteers Kate, Elizabeth, Rob, Larissa, and Kate. The story spoke of spontaneous good deeds and the way in which generosity always finds a way to be passed on to others. The students were asked to write about a time that they "passed it on". You can read Samuel's story below.

Open Your Heart: Story of how I helped someone find his way in life again

Loving yourself or your neighbor does not mean loving certain people only. It means you should open your heart and a place where those who need help are looked after to people from all walks of life. Four years ago, there was a knock on my door, and when I answered a young man stood there, his head and face covered in blood. I led him inside and cleaned his wounds. After I had given him something to eat he told me that he lived at Maxixe and that when things went wrong with the business, they would take it out on him. On many occasions after that he would come to me with fresh stab wounds that I would tend to because he had no family here in Vilanculos.

After four years of nagging, and four years of being brutally assaulted, I think he had finally had enough of being someone’s punching bag. He came to me one morning and give me his sister’s address in Beira. I wrote to her and two weeks later his aunt phoned me. She told me that her nephew had disappeared five years before and that his family had thought was dead. We made some arrangements for his family to fetch him. When his three aunts arrived a few days later to take him home, it only then struck me that I would never see him again. I felt sad because he had become part of our family.

But I also know that once he arrived home and saw his familiar surroundings that it would click that he really was home after six years and it wasn’t all a dream. I am so proud that I could be part of the Pintos Family reunion and that my heart was open to a friend in need.