Hello again from Berbice!
After a break from teaching due to school closures, we are happy to report we have completed our first full week of teaching! Jamie and Ben began the week on Monday with a lesson at Corentyne Comprehensive Secondary School while Erin and Vinyas started their week at Berbice Islamic on Tuesday. We have now begun our curricula in almost every school we have planned to teach. After meeting with the Headmasters, teachers, and other members of the community, we have shaped our teaching plan to include a focus on mental and sexual health. Our first lessons have covered an introduction to mental health and stigma surrounding mental illness. Thanks to training provided by the Jack Project, we entered classes prepared with a variety of activities helpful to develop students’ understanding of the potential negative impacts of stigma on the individual and the community. Through our anonymous “question box” (a method used to receive feedback from students at the end of each lesson), we have witnessed wonderful growth from our students’ regarding awareness of their own mental health. We have also learned the most effective methods to engage our students. Their participation in our activities and enthusiasm for learning health continues to surprise us each day.
|Jamie and Vinyas with a few students from their Lower Corentyne class!|
Jamie and Erin taught QHO’s first lesson of the year at the Letter Kenny Youth Space to the kids of the local community. After speaking to the youths in the community, we have developed some ideas for topics to cover over the remaining weeks. It has already proved interesting to adapt our teaching to such a diverse group of experiences and interests. We look forward to the coming lessons with them!
On Tuesday, the community members surrounding the Letter Kenny Youth Space organized a birthday surprise for Jamie’s 21st. We learned the Guyanese tradition of each guest feeding the guest of honour a bite of cake. This event emphasizes the incredibly warm and welcoming hospitality we have received from the members of the community. Whether it involves a game of cricket, being invited to a ceremony at their local temple, or participating in extra lessons at the youth space, it is humbling not to be treated merely as visitors, but to be so seamlessly integrated into the community.
After a nice visit with the Georgetown P.E.’s this weekend, we are excited to see what the next week holds!
That’s all, folks!!!!
Erin, Vinyas, Ben & Jamie