Monday, 24 November 2014

So You Want to Teach in Kenya Pt I

Telling people I want to teach in Kenya has been met with a range of reactions. Many have been excited and many have also been wary, with concerns for my safety and wellbeing. These concerns are all valid, when what we read online and see in the media about Africa can be quite confronting at times.

The questions I have been asked so far are not dissimilar, so I thought what better platform to answer these and debunk some myths about Kenya using my dusty old blog. I'll do this over a series of blog posts and I will cover topics such as the risk of contracting Ebola, political unrest in Africa, safety for females, working with children with HIV, as well as any other questions I receive along the way.

Today let’s talk about this: why teach disadvantaged kids overseas when there are so many here in Australia?

Firstly, and put simply, the timing to go couldn't be any better. It happens to be before the start of the Australian school year, which means I will be back in time to teach in Australia in 2015.

Secondly, you're absolutely right, there are many disadvantaged students in Australia and they are the reason why I started my Master of Teaching. I'm interested in how we can improve education inequality for students from low socio economic backgrounds within Australia and in particular, our indigenous kids. If you feel the same, I recommend you like the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation on Facebook to keep up to date with their local campaigns.

And finally, this experience can only benefit the research I will undertake to help close the gap in educational disadvantage for students in Australia. Within the classroom, surely a well-travelled, worldly art teacher can only be a good thing? Essentially, not only will this experience benefit the children at Mama Children's Orphanage, it will benefit students in Australia on a totally different level.

Lao Tzu once said "A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." What a tremendous, but important, first step to take on my journey to become a teacher.

We know this trip is not for everyone, but there is no denying that someone has to make sure that these children receive their human right to an education. Thankfully the orphanage works diligently to make sure these students can learn from teachers around the world. But its not easy for them to get people to commit. From the thousands of teacher candidates contacted in Australia, only 3 have signed up to teach these kids for these 5 weeks from January.

Lena and I want to help in a small way. If you're interested in helping us get over to Kenya and in turn help these inspiring young people, then any contribution would be greatly appreciated. We offer some awesome perks at our crowd funding page here and every contribution from $1 up receives a big virtual hug from us.

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