Monday, November 23, 2009
I would like to thank those who took the time to donate money and materials to this cause. If you DO NOT want me to thank you by name on my blog, please let me know! Please know that I may not always receive specific donor information for those who choose to donate through WorldTeach.
Many thanks to all who have supported this WorldTeach teaching initiative thus far!
349 North West End Ave.
Lancaster, PA 17603
Friday, November 13, 2009
My class of ~25 students is comprised of adult learners from Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, many of whom are refugees. The group is very diverse in terms of both culture and ability. While some are literate in their native language, others are not, which poses an even greater challenge for the students as well as the teacher! The main point of these mixed classes is to equip refugees with basic life skills so that they can live and work and function in American society.
I've been having reading and discussion periods with some of the more advanced students, and next week I'll be reviewing basic math concepts, which I'm very excited about (hopefully the students will be as well).
Anyone who might be interested in teaching ESL and Life Skills classes or tutoring one-on-one should contact the Literacy Council. Funding has been cut to many of these programs, so volunteer support is needed more now than ever!
"Throughout the world, one in five deaths among women in this age group is linked to unsafe sex, according to the U.N. agency." Women often lack access to contraceptives or simply do not know how to protect themselves from infection.
The report goes on to discuss the disparity between the health treatment received by women vs. that received by men. "In many parts of the world [women] suffer serious disadvantages because of poverty, poorer access to health care and cultural norms that put a priority on the well-being of men...the discrimination extends throughout a women's life, from girlhood diseases that aren't identified because they are not sicknesses affecting boys, to clinical trials and medicines developed on the basis of curing adult males."
Friday, November 6, 2009
In less than two months, I will leave virtually everything I know behind to live and teach high school math and science in
This sure-to-be-epic journey will be coordinated through WorldTeach, a non-profit organization sponsored by Harvard's Center for International Development. I will be employed as a volunteer teacher through WorldTeach and
The recent history of
One of the most promising therapies is narrative exposure therapy (NET), through which survivors detail the events of their traumas, essentially reliving their nightmares and reexperiencing all of the emotions associated with them. Studies have shown that this intense therapy results in habituation of the emotional response associated with the trauma, thus mitigating PTSD symptoms. Many studies have shown that short-term NET is more effective than traditional psychotherapy in treating PTSD, while at the same time being cost-effective and relatively simple to use, even by laymen. Any kind of administration of therapy is certainly outside of my job description, but considering that many of the students I will be teaching are surviving orphans of the genocide, it might be a good idea for me to have an understanding of mental health issues that I am likely to encounter. How does one return to normalcy after living through hell on earth? Will these children, who are most certainly haunted by this country’s ugly past, be able to thrive in the classroom and in the community?
As if these children haven’t been faced with enough challenges in their lives, many deal with the day-to-day reality of being infected with HIV. Superstitions and misinformation regarding HIV abound; therefore, proper education is imperative! The lives of these children literally depend upon the quality of HIV/AIDS education that they receive, if any. The opportunity to be involved in the formation of an HIV/AIDS education class is one of the most significant reasons that I applied to this program. My greatest passions are the study of emerging infectious diseases, vector-transmitted diseases (malaria), virology (HIV/AIDS, yellow fever), and parasitology (elephantiasis, river blindness). I’m hoping that I will be able to both learn and educate about disease prevention, pathology, and epidemiology during my stay.
Since I will be living in relative cultural and geographical isolation without friends or family or my usual distractions of television and easy internet access, I have decided to use much of my downtime in
I am very passionate about math and science (biology in particular) and I am so excited by the opportunity to teach in a country that is in such great need of English-speaking teachers as it switches its national language over to English. If you would like to support this teaching initiative by contributing funds toward my $6000 program fee, you may donate through WorldTeach.org (please specify that your donations are in support of Emma Eck), or you may donate directly to my home address: 349 N. West End Avenue,
I encourage everyone to follow along with me on my journey as I continue to blog about the joys and challenges of teaching in