In the midst of uncertainty throughout the world today, there exist communities that are trapped in the past due to under-development, economic instability and lack of knowledge.
Knowledge alone cannot solve all of the issues within a community. However, it is the vehicle that drives individuals within a community to accelerate towards solutions. Knowledge comes through many channels; the family, the classroom, the workplace. But what happens when the only classrooms are moldy bamboo pole barns with little or no resources to convey knowledge in an impacting way?
What happens when the families of a community spend generations with such poor educational opportunities that they are unable to pass on knowledge to their children because they never had the opportunity to obtain it? What happens when, in the midst of this unfortunate scenario, work is non-existent? What kind of future can be expected for a community under such distress? Each day they wake up, can they foresee a time in their life course where their situation will be any different?
When you infuse education into a community, it carries transformative power. When children are given a fair shot at learning knowledge that inspires them to dream, challenge and seek solutions, their inspiration triggers a paradigm shift. When knowledge is brought into the home, families discover entrepreneurial opportunities which lead to jobs within a community. Economic stability elevates a community – thus, education is the foundation to elevating a community.
Currently, RCS (Raymond Community School) teachers are only required to have a high school diploma. They have demonstrated, through possession of that diploma, that they hold enough knowledge to educate a child in grades 1 – 6.
What they lack, because of poor resources, is methodology in teaching. They lack the training of effective methods of teaching concepts and are forced to rely on their own trial and error of how to relay the information to their students in a way that penetrates the young mind and also promotes retention. In addition, the resources necessary to achieve such tasks are absent from the classroom. Even if those resources were there, without a proper school building, the materials would be destroyed after just one mountain rain. Consequently, building the new school is the first step in promoting progress within the community.
At the same time, education is possible under difficult circumstances. From this mountain community, engineers have emerged, which is why we are working on multiple fronts to achieve progress – because this community has potential and no time to waste. This leads us to our educational focus of how to train and assist teachers at RCS to shift from the theoretical teaching practices of traditional classrooms in Haiti due to lack of hands-on resources, to a practical form of teaching where students are able to demonstrate and experiment with the concepts and theories they are required to learn. Why not let them continue to teach in a theoretical facet since that is the model that has been given?
Let’s take a look at this small stream in the RCS community.
This stream runs right behind the school yard. It is a wide, shallow stream, but it has a steady flow from a natural source. This is a community without even a flicker of electricity, and no running water in homes or buildings. For a student learning basic theory, his/her mind is closed to opportunities that are right under their feet. However, a student learning concepts with STEAM experiments (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics), when his/her eyes look upon this gift of a natural water source that never stops flowing, the student may be inspired to experiment ways of using it to meet needs within the community. For example, through STEAM experimentation, a group of children may take the challenge of exploring increased water flow when the stream’s dimensions are changed. When the stream is dug deeper and has barriers to narrow its path, the speed at which the water flows is increased. The stronger the flow, the more energy created, which can be converted to electricity.
This is the importance of STEAM for development, for the success of a community. A student is encouraged to overcome the norms by daring to create something unique through ART without fear of being mocked. That exercise of the mind pushes them to evaluate real world problems through ENGINEERING and create new TECHNOLOGY to find solutions to those problems. SCIENCE introduces theories to experiment possibilities of developing such technologies. MATHEMATICS provides the fundamentals needed to record data gathered through experimentation. These areas of study go hand-in-hand, and expands a child’s educational journey. This leads to a greater potential for developing problem-solving technology unique to the challenges of their own community:
· Finding ways to get up and down the mountain faster and easier without electricity
· Finding ways to get water into every home from the water source
· Finding ways to transport goods or develop roads more efficiently and affordably
When you look at the classroom of RCS, do you see something inspiring children to seek answers? Do you see something that inspires children to even push themselves to walk mountainsides to come to this school?
But they come. They believe. They have a seed inside them waiting to be planted and watered. This is why we are brainstorming every avenue to help make their future brighter.
Right now, we are putting teams together for teachers to come work alongside RCS teachers in our kids’ club to integrate STEAM learning into their lessons, using simple materials found in nature and/or the garbage bin (plastics, cardboard, etc).
If you are a teacher and your passion for education compels you to come be a part of this amazing opportunity, come.
If you are an education-major student looking for an awesome internship where you have the opportunity to spend three months utilizing your knowledge and skills to develop a systematic teacher training program that can be implemented across multiple communities, come.
If you are someone reading this who is inspired to help our organization in brightening the future of this community and others like it, but you are unable to come or this is not your field of study or experience, will you consider giving?
$30/month can make a huge difference in our ability to ignite a passion to learn within a community.
$18 will adopt a square foot of the new school building in order for us to assist the community in rebuilding their school.
$_____ any gift given in love is a gift that can exponentially grow and transform lives.
GO. GIVE. CHANGE. BE CHANGED.
TRIP DATES FOR EDUCATORS:
JUNE 3 – 7, JUNE 14 – 18, JULY 22 – 26
COST: $500 PER PERSON (CONTACT US VIA EMAIL FOR REGISTRATION INFORMATION)
AVAILABLE EDUCATOR INTERNSHIPS:
MAY 8 – AUGUST 5, 2020 (2 SLOTS AVAILABLE)
(FOR MORE INFORMATION ON APPLYING, CONTACT VIA EMAIL OR WHATSAPP)