Phase 2 of our PROTEDE (Spanish acronym for Schools of Hope Tutoring Program) tutoring program started Saturday. English and computer classes for high school students in our ChildCARE Plus program.
Close to 50 students came from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm Saturday morning. For most of them, these classes are not offered to them in their school. For 2 years, these students have been asking for these classes and I wanted to make it happen somehow. Earlier this year, we started tutoring Grade 6 students in Math and Spanish. We have had about 18 students come consistently Thursday afternoons for 2 hours. That was Phase 1 of my dream, you can read more here in a previous blog post. We still plan to expand that program to more classes in the years ahead, but for now, we are taking baby steps and doing what we can. I’m excited to see how God works next school year as we work out the kinks and details.
I am so thankful for the great working relationship we have with Moises Starkman School and the Principal there, Director Carmen. She has graciously been allowing us to use her school to offer these programs free to the children. Her office/computer lab has been sitting there with 15 computers, that I have never seen used. Recently we found out that the computers were donated to the school 9 years ago and have basically never been used. Covered in dust, dirt and sitting there. When you walk past the class, you think ‘Oh cool, they have computers for the children.’ But in reality they have barely been used. Why? Because they do not have a computer teacher who can teach the students to use the computers and programs.
It is hard to find teachers who will come to this area to teach, because it is considered one of the poorest and dangerous communities in the city. Sadly, the children and teachers have never had the opportunity to use what was so easily accessible.
The other day while our team was preparing the computers to be used for our tutoring program, I got to thinking. We have many good intentions to help, to give and bless others. As North Americans, we think we know what is best for another country based on our worldview and perspective. But the longer I am in Honduras, the more I see a different worldview, a different perspective.
These computers were given with great intentions, but sadly have sat dormant and unused for 9 years… 9 years. I am excited to say that 11 of the 15 are up and running. The others need a few repairs and will be working soon. They were used Saturday morning for the first time with 18 students who will now have the opportunity to learn skills they can use now and in the future. Also, now the school will have access to them as well. But they still need a computer teacher – so that’s my next dream. Not sure how God will work that one out, but I believe he will in some amazing way!
The English class also went extremely well. 30 students were there! I came into the class near the end of their time and several students came forward and practiced with me. My heart was so full. I know that learning English will give these students opportunities for the future.
I challenged them to not get frustrated or discouraged. Language learning is not easy. I shared my story of learning Spanish, as it’s been almost 4 years and I am still not fully fluent. I also shared Delmys’ story, she works with us in the ChildCARE Plus program. She started learning English 3 years ago and now translates all of our sponsor letters to the children and to sponsors. She is not fully fluent speaking but does an amazing job with the letters, and she is helping teach this class!!! My heart is bursting with joy for her and this program!!!
Giving the students skills that can help them in the future is priceless. I am so glad we get to opportunity to help make this possible.