Education is a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty and it is key to so much of the work you support through CLWR. October 5 is World Teachers’ Day, and we’d like to celebrate with you the work of teachers in refugee camps.
Here are a couple notes for World Teachers’ Day from our partners Lennart Hernander, representative for The Lutheran World Federation-Kenya/Djibouti program and Truphena Kirior, a special needs educator working in the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. They outline some of the work you support for kids living in Dadaab.
Today we want to really appreciate the hard, professional, dedicated and committed work by teachers in refugee camps!
Our teachers – national teachers and refugees – work under very challenging circumstances, in crowded classrooms with sometimes more than 100 learners in the same room, not enough desks or textbooks, with primary school learners of very different ages in the same class, and students coming from different countries, different languages and different cultures. But our teachers do fantastic work every day in under-resourced schools.
Recently we have made classrooms and toilets accessible with ramps for physically challenged learners in Djibouti. We constructed school kitchens in Dadaab for school meals programs and we support girls with uniforms in the Kakuma refugee camp. Turphena’s greeting is specific on children with special needs – whom we also include in our schools.
Turphena Kirior, Special Needs Education/Early Child Development Education Officer
Teaching learners with special needs has its own unique rewards. It gives a special fulfillment to special education teachers, feeling that they are “making a difference” in the world. The teacher makes every child feel special. Each teacher has to forget herself and be there for every special child in her class. The teacher focuses on making a difference in this child. She/he sees the little things, the ability and potentials that are in this child that other people do not see.
The special education teacher teaches all learners according to their needs. The teacher gives the children confidence by teaching them at their own level. The teacher nurtures and appreciates the child for who they are. The special education teacher has a big heart, and hugs the child on difficult days. The special education teacher will celebrate when the learner is able to wipe her/his nose or button a shirt. The teacher takes a day at a time with the child. The special education teacher is patient and will wait patiently for every sign of change in the child.
Let us appreciate the work of the special education teachers in the world.