Thank You for Your Volunteering and Commitment Spirit
- GEMS volunteers reach out to more than 120 Pratham teachers and students over the summer
In partnership with Pratham, the Varkey GEMS Foundation announced last June its first volunteering programme titled: ‘IT’S GOOD TO TALK’; a programme designed to help teachers in rural India improve their English conversational skills. Over the summer, forty GEMS volunteers were able to positively touch the lives of more than a hundred and twenty Pratham teachers and students.
On October 23 2011, The Varkey GEMS Foundation organised a certificate ceremony to thank each volunteer for their generous commitment to this project. On this occasion, Mr. Sunny Varkey, Founder and Trustee of the Varkey GEMS Foundation said: “We are grateful for the time, enthusiasm and dedication you have invested during your holidays for this volunteering activity. You showed a great ‘giving example’ to all of us”.
Teachers and volunteers in rural India are in need of substantial support to improve their conversational English skills. To support them, the Varkey GEMS Foundation and Pratham joined hands to launch a summer volunteering programme aimed at improving the conversational English language abilities of Pratham’s beneficiaries through engaging in daily phone calls and training camps. The programme offered the beneficiaries an opportunity to learn how to organize their thoughts and communicate in a more natural way. As such, we can help volunteer teachers in India practice their English skills, which are critical to the way children are taught.
The volunteers received a pre-paid SIM card from Pratham and had to place a few phone calls every day for a set number of days during the summer; each phone call takes approximately 7 minutes. At the end of the programme volunteers were asked to track and report the progress of the Pratham beneficiaries English language development.
“My three allocated students showed a positive attitude towards learning English and felt that it would give them the added advantage when searching for jobs” added Padmaja Menon from The Cambridge International School in Dubai.
This programme is the top of a list of several volunteering projects. As the Foundation grows, more programs will be conducted to reach out to as many people as possible and we have no doubt that our GEMS community will support us with its wonderful volunteering and commitment spirit.
Anitha Sanalkumar from Our Own English High School in Sharjah said: “I wish to thank you for giving me an opportunity to be part of such a noble cause. The experience was very enriching and humbling”.
Again, we would like to re-iterate our gratitude to all our volunteers for making this programme a success. The Foundation is part of our DNA and without our collective engagement and personal investment; we will not be able to reach our aim by impacting the lives of millions of underprivileged children around the world in obtaining a quality education.