Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Ban Na Xang community gets behind GVI English classes

GVI started teaching at Wat Na Xang in the third quarter of 2011 in response to a request from an ambitious young novice wanting to set up English lessons in his temple for his 8 fellow novices.  GVI happily accepted the invitation and soon after starting at Wat Na Xang found word had spread and kids from the village began coming in droves. 

Not too long after that GVI opted to split the classes to better differentiate the levels, so now two classes were running over 2 hours.  Not too long after that, and more kids started coming, we were overflowing again and had little littlies needing more attention again, so another split was made. 
But, we had a problem.  Two classes in the same small room at the temple, with children as young as 3 playing energetic English games?  Very noisy!  But Novice Wonxay and the village’s Nai Ban (head man) got together and decided to offer GVI the community hall to teach classes.  This way, more and more kids can continue coming to the two early classes and the Novices and older girls in the village can have lessons in relative quiet at the temple. 

The villagers all gathered around the first few weeks every day to watch the foreign volunteers teach their kids, recognising the value of this free extra education in English their kids were receiving.  We’ve received so much support from the parents and adults of the community and feel very welcome in Ban Na Xang.  When Novice Won Xay is busy with temple or other duties, we often have enthusiastic English speaking parents come to our aid, particularly helpful with the rambunctious little kids! 

Na Xang has certainly touched many of our past volunteers in their experiences with the community.  It’s a special experience – challenging but highly rewarding.

GVI has shown our thanks by sponsoring new tables and benches at the temple school, and a prior volunteer help set up a mini‘library’ for the kids to access too.  It’s a promising start for everyone and we look forward to helping this community for a long time to come.