The English Project
For the past three years, we have been teaching the basics of the English language in local primary schools, offering the opportunity to learn one of the world’s most commonly spoken languages to communities who usually lack a second-language curriculum. As an organization that values the importance of education and potential for future success, we realize that learning English is often helpful for communicating with people from other cultures and for job opportunities, especially for low-income communities in a very touristy area such as Ollantaytambo. We also recognize that many children from this community struggle with learning English when they enter high school, where the course is obligatory, since they have never been exposed to it prior. Because we understand that learning a language from an early age is crucial for grasping the grammar and pronunciation of a native speaker, we chose to focus our efforts in low-resource primary schools, where our students can begin learning English from a young age and hopefully have brighter opportunities for success later in life.
For the first two years, the program relied on various volunteers to teach every week at a primary school in a local town called Phiry. The students and teachers at this school were very grateful, of course, to receive English education, but we found that the project became a little difficult to manage without having a single person to organize it. As a result, this year we were grateful to receive a grant by GO Campaign, an organization from the United States that improves the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world by partnering with local heroes to deliver local solutions, and the Belmong group.
This grant allowed us to hire a trained English teacher whose main role was to prepare lessons and materials, and teach every class. After a whole school year learning from the same teacher, we have seen improvements in the students’ grades, and a growth in their interest. We were also able to expand our English project in 2019 to teach in not only the same school, in Phiry, but also to educate another local primary school called Virgen de Fatima, where 125 more students now have the opportunity to learn English.
Students of Virgen de Fatima school
We also teach a weekly afternoon English class to our beneficiaries from the Integral Support Program, who do not have an English curriculum in their primary schools. The families are very grateful that their children have this opportunity, and it also gives our beneficiaries a chance to spend time together in a friendly and educational environment!
Next year we will continue the English project, as we wouldn’t want to stop the students’ process of learning now that they have become so interested and learned the basics of the language.