Teaching For Empowerment in South India
In early March, teachers and students from Hong Kong International School facilitated the fifth annual Teaching for Empowerment program for 45 high school students from Concordia High School in Ambur and Concordia High School in Pernambut in Tamil Nadu, India. The goal of the program is for Indian students to consider how they can make a difference to improve the lives of people in their communities. The most common social issues identified by students were alcoholism, smoking, child labor and pollution.
This four-day program uses a curriculum developed by HKIS students in which Indian students self-select into groups organized by various social issues. Through the week, students learn through games, videos and activities about the power of teamwork, the role of the individual in making a difference, public speaking skills and creating action plans. At the end of the week, each group makes a presentation sharing what they have learned and the action steps that they hope to take.
The great takeaway for HKIS students was the beauty and love of these children in India, many of whom face the challenges of poverty and broken homes. The bond between the groups of students was evident as many tears were shed as the groups parted on the last day of the program.
In the concluding devotion, HKIS teacher Marty Schmidt explained that Jesus’ command to love God with your heart, soul, mind and strength was on abundant display throughout the four days as students from both schools sought to meet the needs of people in their communities.
The Teaching for Empowerment curriculum is available for use by other schools that would like to implement such a program through ALEA or you may contact Marty Schmidt directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.