Tuesday, August 11, 2009

LDS English

One of the biggest and best projects of Help El Sal2009 has been teaching English at the LDS Church Employment Center. All HELP volunteers participate in this project, which happens Monday,Wednesday,and Friday from 5-6.

Why teach English? The most important reason is that it will increase the student´s ability to get jobs in a global market where English is increasingly becoming the international language.

The HELP volunteers have varying levels of Spanish-some are completely fluent from serving missions and other community experiences, others are well-versed from classes, and some only speak common phrases or sayings.Yet all HELP volunteers are able to get involved. There are 4 different classes: kids, basic, intermediate, and advanced. HELP volunteers usually usually go where they are most comfortable speaking Spanish. In other words,a volunteer with minimal Spanish will go to the advanced class, while a volunteer who is or is close to fluency will go to Basic.

One group participant, Allen Nicholson,expressed how it is important for teachers to not continually lecture, but to instead check for understanding, have group activities and worksheets, and most importantly, let the students talk.

Overall, the LDS English project has been a success. From the friendships formed, to the teaching experience gained, and of course from the increased English speaking and listening abilities, this has been one of our best projects.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Team 2009 Has Arrived!

Team El Salvador 2009 is here!

This is us! (on our first day as a team in our very own back yard)

This is our mission:
"Through efforts of compassion and with hearts dedicated to change, we hope to provide opportunity, empowerment and an increased measure of health to Salvadorians in need. As a result of our labors we foresee both perpetual progress among Salvadorian communities and personal growth facilitated by life changing experiences.

Our HELP-ing hands diligently seek change!"

These our some of the reasons we love HELPing in El Salvador:

Some of the happy faces that greet us when we go to CIPI:

With these younger preschool age children at CIPI we took the time to refurbish the library the 2008 team built and launched a literacy program. Sadly just as that program started rolling, most of the young children (90%) were moved out to other homes or in with other families. We have since launched a program with the adolescent girls and adolescent mothers. We are doing a series of classes to promote literacy, education, self esteem and empowerment! We love the girls at CIPI and we feel like they help us while we help them.

Bright Orange means FUDEM:FUDEM started out as a non profit organization dedicated to the development of women. However, while teaching women various skills they discovered one problem that occurred repeatedly. And that was that these women couldn't SEE! Their vision was very poor. Upon closer examination, they discovered that this was a serious problem in the country at large. Today FUDEM has three functioning clinics dedicated to giving every person in EL Salvador affordable eye care. They work with each client or family and determine what they can pay for their glasses. With these funds they go out on campaigns all over the country and visit schools and give free eye exams to children and also give them free glasses. This project is called "Ventanitas de Luz" (little windows of light). This is the first year we have worked with them and we love it already!

We cant wait to write more about the many projects we have rolling with Hospital Zacamil, Hogar Providencia (a home for boys), Habitat for Humanity, Hogar de Nino (a home for special needs children, BALSAMO (a development organization with whom we have started to build square foot gardens, teach small business skills lessons and start a small drama group in rural villages in Sonsonate), and more! We are staying busy and always looking for ways to help.

We are grateful for everyone who donted so generously so that we could be here- dontated time, money, excitement.. everything! We wouldn't be here with out you.

Check in often and see what is going on with the HELPers here in El Sal.