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