Transforming Students’ Lives
Emeka, an AHLC teacher, is committed to his role as an educator, extending his responsibilities beyond the bounds of the classroom to truly engage with his students. Passion emanates from this teacher when he speaks about his work, filled with stories upon stories about each of the children he has worked with.
Emeka’s mission is to transmit the value of learning continuously, inside and outside of the classroom, building students’ confidence up so that they can succeed in life.
Most recently, he shared the story of a young student who never smiled, often crying without explanation. Over time, he noticed that the third- grader wasn’t writing when the students were prompted to write. He took time to observe his student and took the initiative to get closer to her siblings, learning about their family life and trying to absorb his student in conversation daily.
To draw a smile on her face, he slipped a chocolate treat in with her things at the end of the one school day. It was with this small gesture that Emeka was able to begin to form a connection with his student, showing that he cared and wanted to be a source of support.
“Now there’s no day that she goes home without first coming to see me,” Emeka shared, proud to see her more involved in the classroom since he first approached her.
This perseverance to draw more out of his students is evident in the countless number of stories it seems Emeka could tell about his experiences at African Hope. In another instance, he noticed another pair of siblings who seemed to be struggling with reading.
Yet again, he stepped beyond the classroom walls, deciding to work with them throughout the summer, visiting their home for lessons. During his first visit, Emeka was met with confusion from the boys who asked him, “Why are you doing this?”
At this, his response was: “I know the responsibility that you will have to take on one day, the pressures from society, your peers and yourself that you feel. If you can get to a certain level of education, you can better interact with your society and gain more confidence. I have to help to give you confidence that you can do this yourself. You can push yourself.”
The resolute teacher’s response brought tears to his student’s eyes who responded that no one had ever told him he could make it. This moment was a major turning point for the young boy, who went on to work hard all summer, along with his brother.
Emeka sees potential in each of his students. “There is no amount of money that can replace what I’m seeing,” he reflected, thinking of the pride he feels as he sees his students slowly increase their levels.
Upon first visiting African Hope, Emeka sensed an immediate attraction and pull toward the students. “I prayed that God would take me here to get to know these kids,” he remembered.
And it seems God did take him to African Hope, where he himself has been able to grow while tirelessly committing to seeing his students grow around him. “As I’m teaching these kids, I learn a lot. I’ve learned a lot about society and humanity through teaching. I can never be the same. I have been totally transformed from what I was when I first came here,” he added.
Two new afternoon KG2 classes have been added this school year!
KG2 classes have doubled in size this year. We now have four KG2 classes; 52 students, plus a waiting list of children wanting to start. It is a true joy to have these new students!