Read the latest News Articles on MEND’s KoolSkool initiatives around the world:
Skype is being used by two retired Kerikeri women to help school children in India and Nepal.
Jenny Andrew and Winsome Fisher use the video and audio communication app to facilitate a virtual classroom for an hour a week with small groups in remote areas of India and Nepal.
The initiative named KoolSkool is the brainchild of MEND (Mobility Equipment for the Needs of the Disabled) Director Rob Buchanan who saw a need to improve the English spoken and written skills in the areas where is his organisation has centres.
Through storytelling, singing and writing Andrew and Fisher are helping to develop skills that could improve future job prospects for those involved.
MEND provides the devices and often a strong wifi connection can be found at their local centres.
Andrew is a retired teacher and initially approached her sessions with students in her class in the south east of India, with texts and other traditional methods.
“I had to find out what works best, I had to get out of teacher mode and just discuss things with them.
“Now we laugh.”
Fisher works with a guide named Ganga, who sits in with the children in Nepal.
For 17 years Ganga crawled until MEND fitted her with prosthetic limbs.
She is studying to become a nurse with support from MEND and helps Fisher to communicate with the students.
“We are helping them to give them future jobs and alongside what MEND does, it helps to make the world a better place.”
Buchanan says he noticed the need for an initiative like this when he visited a hospital in India where a young man was having corrective surgery for his legs and had missed out on a lot of school.
“There is a great resource amongst retired people who have the life skills and people skills to help.”
The group is seeking more people to come on board and can organise training sessions with Andrew and Fisher.
They stress that you don’t need to be a teacher to make a difference through KoolSkool.
* Any one interested can contact Jenny Andrew on 09 407 6474 or Winsome Fisher on 09 407 5244. Visit http://koolskool.org.nz/