We’re so very fortunate in the UK to be handed the shining gift of the English language from our early years.
This advantage has never been more evident as I’m introduced to Chema, a young teen who’s just finished a two year English course at one of Fundación Proaccesso’s community learning centres on the outskirts of Mexico City.
His proud teacher Hector has pulled him into our intimidating presence, and nods encouragement as Chema self-consciously joins our conversation in the new language. To him, he explains, English has been life-changing. It opens up so many opportunities for his future.
Such has been his experience on the course and the understanding of the opportunities English can create, it’s inspired him to teach, joining with four other students to lead summer classes in English and a variety of other subjects to kids in the community. Completely voluntarily.
We watch him return to the classroom where the first lesson of this course is being taught and already sounds like a riotous success.
Hector is visibly moved. He explains to us that over the last few years he’s tried to impress upon his students the importance of community. Seeing them take the initiative to teach their own class is everything Hector could have hoped for.
‘These are not the same kids as when we started the course. They’ve progressed so much,’ he says.
And it’s difficult not to get caught up in his pride and emotion.
This is stop four of our day of visiting RIA centres, the learning and innovation network run by Fundación Proaccesso, which offers subsidised courses in English, technology and many other subjects for those living in the area.
Hector is part of a group of teachers sent into the centres to teach a special scholarship course in English to promising students.
It’s one of many of Fundación Proaccesso projects that is undoubtedly having an amazing impact on the community and changing young lives.
If they can hand bright young pupils like Chema the tools and enthusiasm to make them catalysts for change in their own communities, there is no limit to the impact the organisation can achieve.