Thursday, December 4, 2008

Support for Non-Profits & Education Around the World

One of the reasons I started Classroom Canada is that I used to work in international development. While teaching in London, England I quickly discovered that the vast majority of teaching agencies that bring foreign teachers to the UK don't really focus on teachers as whole beings. They focus on getting us jobs (which frankly, is not that tough considering the massive shortage of teachers in the UK), and forget to focus on accommodations and community for the teachers.

So, with Classroom Canada I'm pleased to say that our teachers make the move to London feeling supported & part of a community of teachers. You can read some of their stories on the right hand side of this blog under the sub-heading Interviews with our Teachers.

To support international development & global education, I give money to a couple of charities that I believe fit in with Classroom Canada's goals. I thought you might like to hear about these organizations.

The first organization is Amnesty International, which I support on a monthly basis. To learn more about Amnesty, please click here.

The second organization I give to is the Katine project, which was started by the Guardian newspaper. Here's what they say:

"In October 2007, the Guardian and Observer embarked on a three-year project to support development work carried out by the African Medical and Research Foundation (Amref) and Farm-Africa in Katine, a rural sub-county of north-east Uganda.

...
But the Katine project is more than just a fundraising push. On our dedicated Katine website you will get the chance to find out how the money is spent, how development works (the successes and the failures) and how the lives of the sub-county's 25,000 inhabitants have changed."

What I like about the Katine website is that you can actually see the changes happening in this small community. It's an interactive website that really helps readers to understand the issues facing the village. If you can, please support this project by donating here.

When I went to Queen's University for my B.Ed, I received a grant to complete one of my teaching practicums in Bangladesh. I did this practicum with Volunteers for Peace, which involved helping a rural community to build latrines, assisting doctors with eye cataract surgery and health education in general. It was an incredible experience & helped my teaching immensely. I encourage all teachers to get some experience working in a variety of settings world-wide, as our classrooms are becoming more diverse. You will only be a better teacher for it.

While teaching in London, teachers have 13 weeks of holiday a year. You can complete projects like the one I did with VFP throughout Europe & Africa and live rent-free while giving back to the community. Check out the VFP website here. You can search by country or type of project. For example, there were 47 projects (called "workcamps") in England for 2008.

If you know of a good non-profit organization that you think we should support, please leave your comments below. I'll be happy to do some research & see what I can do to help.

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Thanks for sharing your two pence!

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