Mission update: the English Class for Adults

Which projects are we currently running? We’ll regularly post a Mission update to keep you informed about our projects. Today we tell you about the English class: what do we need to keep this specific project running?

In our fully packed cabine (about the size of a shipping container) about 40 motivated men and women are gathered for the English class for adults. The number of attendants is so high that even outside the cabin an English class is given. Curious passers-by keep stance and look, interested to hear where the cheerful chatter comes from. For the inhabitants of camp Moria, the English classes offer a chance to learn something new and take their minds off Moria for a bit. The classes are offered three times a week by refugees, for beginners and advanced students with Arabic, Farsi or French as their mother tongue.

Around 40 motivated men and women are waiting for the start of English classes in our packed ISOBOX, which has the size of a shipping container. The number of attendants is so high that even outside our cabin a small group is following a lesson. Curious passers-by keep stance and look, interested to hear where the cheerful chatter comes from. Here, people both study and laugh a lot. For the inhabitants of camp Moria, it offers a chance to learn English and take their minds off for a bit. The English classes are offered three times a week by refugees themselves, for beginners and advanced students with Arabic, Farsi or French as their mother tongue.

“English classes are incredibly popular, everyone wants to learn English!” says Marleen, volunteering for Boat Refugee Foundation.

What resources are needed to run the English classes?
It is important to make good and creative use of the available materials. Marleen: “We offer a curriculum of six weeks that teaches the students a basic level of English, step-by-step. We currently use sheets and exercises found on the Internet as lesson materials. Our teachers use those materials incredibly well and we see the students’ levels of English increasing every week. To improve our project and curriculum we would benefit from English lesson books that we can use for an improved and clear programme structure.”

Moreover, our teachers are the core of the project, offering the classes with a vast portion of positive energy and humour every time. With a grin on his face, the teacher writes on the whiteboard:

No pen = no notes
No notes = no education
No education = no husband/wife
No husband/wife = loneliness

Laughter rises from the classroom and the students copy the words to their paper. We receive the much-needed pens and other resources from volunteers and donors. “Last week for example, one of the volunteers donated one hundred notebooks to the English school. We offer them to students when they attend their first lesson. By now, only half of the notebooks are left!” Fifty new registrations in one week: that’s how popular English class is. Each notebook now belongs to someone working on his or her future by learning English, even though they are still residing in Moria.

The wide interest in English classes shows how much perseverance and resilience many refugees have. English class is a place where people set their eyes on the future, and wander their minds off Moria. They do so with a lot of motivation and humour. This makes the English class incredibly valuable.

Text: Tessa Kraan
Photo’s: Kenny Karpov