By H Mac Wooten
As with any organization whether it is a for-profit or nonprofit, before you offer support, you should ask questions (of yourself and most certainly about the organization).
- 1. How is the organization structured? Teach a Teacher is a 501(c) (3) tax exempt under the guidelines of the IRS. Your donation is tax deductible. We are set up as a corporation (in Montana) per the requirements of the IRS. TaT has an International Board of Directors as well as a Board of Advisers.
- 2. Who does this organization benefit? This organization benefits the school teachers who volunteer and their students as well as the educators that learn from them, and ultimately, society at large. School teachers in Peru learn better basic teaching skills and receive professional development from experienced Teachers from a variety of developed countries. Our Volunteer Teachers can also learn from this very different environment and take their experiences back to share and use with their students (your children) in their home countries. This is certainly a win – win situation for both sets of educators. TaT has no paid personnel. We operate with Volunteer teachers and other professionals who generously give their time, talents and experience.
- 3. How does Teach a Teacher use my money? We do purchase some teaching materials but first ask that our Volunteer Teachers bring materials with them through the support of co-workers, friends and/or other organizations. We do not require our Volunteers to speak fluent Spanish, so we hire translators to work with our Volunteers to translate to Spanish and/or in many cases Quechua. Often many of the teachers we work with are in schools located high in the Andean hillsides. Transportation for our Volunteers and translators is another expense. TaT continues to operate on a very low budget so your donation goes to where you expect it to go. Your donation goes to help teachers learn to teach more effectively. Teach a Teacher would like to one day provide scholarships to our Volunteer Teachers to help them offset the expenses of traveling here. Our Volunteers pay their own way here. When working in the classrooms, we try always to provide some basic materials to the children. The gift of something as simple as pencil and paper could produce the next poet laureate, author, artist or merely someone who will be able to support his or her family.
- 4. Is this organization meaningful to me? Education is a global concern to all of us. It affects each of us everyday in so many facets. The mentality of “It’s ok as long as it’s not in MY back yard” is simply ignorant. The quality of education worldwide makes it to your “back yard” whether you realize it or not. For example; What did you have for supper last night? It’s quite possible that some of the food you ate came from Peru. Peru is a developing country with a large percent of the population living at or below the poverty level here. Many of this population are subsistence farmers who have little to no reading / writing skills or general education. These farmers use the restricted and prohibited pesticides that have been banned in most of the developed countries (but still manufactured in developed countries) and sold elsewhere. Don’t think that because these pesticides can’t be used in your country, that it doesn’t find it’s way back to your table …. where you feed it to your family. There is a direct correlation regarding poverty and education. As in many countries, the opportunity for girls to be educated are usually hit the hardest. Families in some of the poorest area depend on their children to help with the care of the animals, siblings and livestock. This chore generally falls on the girls more that the boys because it’s culturally more important for the male to be better educated.
- Why should I help? It’s your world. It’s your back yard. It affects your future and the future of your children and it most certainly affects the people in Peru (a developing country).
- Two thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are female and over 65% of its poorest people are women and girls”. The MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F);
- “In agriculture, women make up more than 40% of the labor force, but only represent between 3 to 20% of landholders.
- “Discrimination against women and girls – including gender-based violence, economic discrimination, reproductive health inequities, and harmful traditional practices – remains the most pervasive and persistent form of inequality.” UNFPA;
- “Despite many international agreements affirming their human rights, women are still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. They usually have less access than men to medical care, property ownership, credit, training and employment.“Studies have shown that women with even a few years of primary education have better economic prospects, have fewer and healthier children, and are more likely to ensure that their own children go to school. Development would be accelerated if girls were kept in school to complete a quality secondary education”. Jon Lomoy, Director OECD, Helsinki High Level symposium UN 2010 Development Cooperation Forum.“
- Women usually invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men. A study in Brazil showed that the likelihood of a child’s survival increased by 20% when the mother controlled household income.
EDUCATION is The Key to The Future
Empowered women = empowered families and communities X future generations
Women constitute one half of the world’s population, They do two-thirds of the world’s work, They earn one tenth of the world’s income and hey own one hundredth of the world’s property including land. Source: United Nations (1979) State of the World’s Women, Voluntary Fund for the UN
It is our mission to improve the quality of education in Peru, a developing country with a strong desire to find its way. We serve to connect Peruvian teachers to professional development opportunities provided by volunteer teachers from developed nations. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life and promoting empowerment by strengthening education in all countries that participate.
It is our hope that by providing teachers from developed nations a venue for teaching the skills they cherish in their professions to Peruvian teachers, who are eager to learn and use new skills in their instruction; not only will both parties of teachers grow and benefit from the experience, but this will allow the students influenced by these teachers to glean something new from their teachers’ experiences while continuing to and creating greater value for all cultures.
Teach a Teacher is committed to make a real difference in the lives of people. Education is the most effective means of combating many of the most profound challenges to human development. Education systems the world over continue to paid a heavy price for the failure of governments to invest in children’s earliest years. Like health systems worldwide that struggle desperately to cure illness and disease instead of investing in prevention, teachers and educational experts have wrestled with illiteracy, school avoidance and underachievement – forever playing catch-up with problems that would have been significantly reduced if sufficient attention had been paid to children’s first years of life.
Teach a Teacher and our Volunteers provide Professional Development and help teach basic teaching skills to Teachers in some of the poorest areas in Peru. Please visit us at www.teachateacher.org and www.teachateacher.wordpress.com and at teachateacher on Facebook.
H Mac Wooten is President and Kelly J. Dwyer is Executive Director of Teach a Teacher Nonprofit. We live and focus most of our work in the Ancash region of Peru.