Teaching is, no doubt, a noble profession. But selflessly giving of your time away for volunteerism is much more commendable. It may even be considered heroism, especially when you choose to teach the less privileged children in a country not your own.
English is the most commonly spoken language internationally. In fact, fifty-three countries all over the world use it as the official language. This means a lot! First and foremost, it makes communication easy for people across the globe. Second, it allows you to travel with no difficulty. And since we are in an era of globalization, it’s important that we have a common language for interaction.
Because of this, non-English speaking countries are now opening their doors to English as a second language. A country in point: Ecuador. Through its Ministry of Education, Ecuador has launched the “It is Time to Teach English in Ecuador Project”. It invites volunteer teachers from all over the world to help educate Ecuadorian children and teenagers, particularly the vulnerable sectors of the community.
The “Time to Teach” project’s primary objective is to hone the Ecuadorian public school teachers’ grasp of the English language. So much so that they would be able to produce proficient alumni, ready to compete in the international sphere. In return, and as a gesture of gratitude, the Ecuadorian government allows foreign volunteer teachers to explore the country. Certain families even host one teacher at a time in their homes during the latter’s stint. Because of this, the foreign teachers get to learn to speak Spanish or the local dialect. They are also given the chance to learn about the country’s biodiversity and cultural heritage. In other words, the “Time to Teach” project is a two-way interaction between cultures.
Volunteer from the Philippines
Since its launching, Ecuador’s Ministry of Education has already accepted some volunteers. Among those who qualified is Jhon Rey Bado. He’s a Filipino and the only Asian in his batch who decided to respond to Ecuador’s call. [Although the batches of volunteers before and after his already included other Asians]
When asked why he decided to volunteer to teach, the 29-year old Bado said, “I strongly believe that I can greatly contribute to the kids here in Ecuador. Teaching them English will prepare them for a greater and brighter future to face the competitive world out there.”
Ecuador is actually Bado’s second assignment. He first volunteered in India. According to him, teaching young people is his vocation and he would continue to impart his knowledge for as long as he is able. Although not a native English speaker himself, Bado is fluent in the language primarily because it’s the medium of instruction in most schools in the Philippines. Besides, English is widely spoken throughout the country.
Bado confirms that being a volunteer teacher allows him to learn first-hand about the cultures of other countries and communities. He also says that by immersing himself into the host families, he broadens his perspective on life itself.
However, even as he is delighted about the positive experience, Bado admits that volunteerism is quite financially draining. He has to spend more from his own pocket at times. But he stands firm on the belief that the financial block is just a challenge that needs to be overcome. For he believes that if “there’s a will, there’s a way”. His passion to help young people achieve their goals weighs a lot more than the challenges. Seeing the less privileged in life rise up and succeed fulfills him. And as he strives to find ways to solve his financial problems, the young teacher appeals to magnanimous hearts. He asks for some financial support to go on serving. Bado says that a contribution of $5 can go a long way, promising that he “will serve as an instrument through which you can give - through me but not to me.”
I believe that this young man’s cause is worth supporting. That’s why I use this platform to bring his message across. And since Christmas is the time of giving and sharing, I invite you to help contribute a few of your resources for the children of Ecuador. By doing so, you can at least say, you have helped educate the young people even without going there.