Every afternoon in Amer, more than 150 children aged from 3 to 15 spend their time at the Tushita Foundation learning from our teachers and from volunteers who come from top Universities around the world like the Institute of Political Science in Paris, la Sorbonne, SOAS, King’s College, University of Chicago, Harvard University, Milan Politecnico and more.
Each volunteer shares her/his knowledge and passion with the children and the teachers working on English grammar, theatre, geography, literature, history, architecture…
Thanks to their support and enthusiasm, we have so far organized two plays, The Magic Peacock (2012) and A Day at the Tushita Foundation (2014), thus giving the children an opportunity to act in front of their families and their classmates. They have started and keep on working on the Book of Me; they have learned the rudiments of rugby and have made objects out of discarded plastic bottles. They have read “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupery and have written their own book, “Creatures of The Tushita Foundation. They have painted a mural on the walls of their play-ground.
To know in detail about the life of a volunteer at the Tushita Foundation, read the journals of those who already worked with us.
Rowan St. Clair was an art student from Hunter College.
Sharyn Pridham is from Canada and used to practice law.
It seems the Harry Potter series is known here as well and my thoughts were this would be a good movie to start with – both because it is so popular and because I brought the full set of Harry Potter books with me, so that any student who wished to know more of the story, could read the book. At the first session, we reviewed “15 highly successful people who failed first”. I read first, followed by each teacher reading and then discussion of any unknown words. It was a wide range of people, some unknown, so there was plenty of interest. We next set up presentation topics and dates, and Ruksar presented on Wednesday with the topic “Bollywood”. The ensuing discussion was very interesting as we touched on the topic of suitability in films of bad language, violence and sex… Read more >
Alex Murray was an undergraduate from Chicago University.
Rowan and I took the bus and arrived promptly around half past noon. The teachers were assembled and, that day it was Priyanka’s turn to share about Andrew Jackson. It was fantastic to see the surprised faces as Rowan and I scolded an American president for his actions against Native Americans. As I had anticipated, the session did include some positive points regarding our seventh leader reiterating my point that all people possess and act on both positive and negative qualities… Read more >
Francesca Violich volunteered with us during Summer break from Harvard University.
Of the younger children, Nena is my baby, with her dark hair and nose-crinkling grin. She loves to play hand games with me, and we count to one hundred together as we play, and she loves it when I get down on all fours and chase her around the classroom, pretending to be a tiger and growling. I know I’m not supposed to be picking favorites, but I am also especially drawn to Aisha, a girl in Payal’s class, and Nurain, one of her good friends. I think Aisha is just gorgeous, with wide eyes, a full mouth, and a sassy temper. Nurain has a beautiful smile and very sharp eyebrows, and teases me relentlessly concerning my poor badminton skills. The girls imitate my flailings and laugh at me, and I laugh with them. Read more >
William Etheridge was a French horn player from the Royal Academy of Music and held a certificate from TEFL, Teaching English as a Foreign Language.
I feel in general, the teaching method employed by the teachers still focuses much to much on reading and writing exercises. I have heard snatches of conversations in English coming from Ruksar’s class, however the other teachers seem to be still bound to reading and writing. They can’t be blamed for this as I assume this is the way they were taught English at school, so they continue in this fashion… Read more >
Anna Anrdiychuk was born in Ukraine and went to the USA at the age of five. A graduate of the University of Chicago, she has taught English to children in a small rural town in Japan, before coming to the Tushita Foundation where she has spent eight months. Here is her letter to future volunteers and her answers to our questionnaire.
Kate Hodkinson stayed on until December and was accompanied by Hannah Ronald from Cambridge University and Julia Galbenu.
Julia Galbenu stayed on until March, bringing ecological awareness to the Tushita Foundation.
Perry Anderson and Tristan Gavin were two professional teachers, champions of phonetics who taught our children the syllabic method of reading. They were also responsible for introducing a system of assessment they designed specifically for the Tushita Foundation’s needs.