This week, our 1st year students are staying on schedule and have covered Unit 3 and 4 of their material, and the 2nd year students have also covered units 3 and 4 in their books. We begin each morning with the 1st year students practicing basic conversations in English, to allow them to learn to pronounce and speak in English. The 1st year students have been divided into 2 classes (class A and B) based on the speed that they are picking up English. We’ve noticed that the class A students are improving rapidly daily. The class B students are progressing, just at a slower pace than those in class A.
The 2nd year students are doing great. In the afternoon, before the class, the students begin with worship service, and at their request, twice in a week, the service is in English only. This week, our 1st year Class A students were challenged to talk about their family for two minutes in English at the close of the week. They did a wonderful job, all of them accomplished the challenge successfully, and we are so proud of their dramatic progress. While the class B students were asked to learn and pronounce fifty new words in English by heart in five minutes. Keep in mind that none of these students spoke a single word of English when they first came to the Esther Project. They are making considerable progress over the past three weeks.
The 2nd year students were paired up and were instructed to present a story in English to the class. One told the story in English and the partner interpreted it into Burmese. They all did an amazing job. On Friday, the 2nd year students assisted in teaching the 1st year students in order to help both groups of students develop and improve their confidence. We are so proud of them for their hard work and motivation to speak the English Language.
I must begin this week’s report with news that this past Tuesday, two of our students from one of the orphanages sending their children to The Esther Project were in a road accident on their way to The Esther Project. The accident occurred while they were crossing the road by bike, and they were struck by a YBS bus, which failed to stop (and kept on going). They were thrown from the bike, by God’s protection neither of the students was injured, however, the front of the bike was crushed. The bike was one of our bikes that we had loaned to the orphanage, as they do not have the means to purchase enough bikes for their children.
Aside from that accident, this week, all our students were healthy and enjoyed learning at the Esther Project. The 1st year Fundamental students (referred to as Fundamentals from this point on) have covered Unit 2 and Unit 3 of their material; and the 2nd year, Level 1 students (referred to as Level 1 students from this point on) covered Unit 2 of their coursework this week. The students enjoy the classes and are making steady progress in their classes. Each morning, in addition to their normal language training, they are memorizing and writing new vocabulary to add to their coursework. For the Fundamentals students, these are basic words as English is completely new to them.
Our Level 1 students are doing very well so far. In the afternoon before we start our class, we spent some time reading the NIV Bible together. During the reading section, students asked about vocabulary, pronunciation and sentence structures that they are reading in the scripture. This is very helpful for each student.
Regarding the computer class, the first week was dedicated to a verbal introduction for the students about computers (keeping in mind they have never seen one). This past week, Mary, our instructor, presented the students their computers and began teaching them at the very beginning …how to open the laptop and close it. It was heartwarming to see the students’ excitement and joy when they saw their laptops and touched them with their own hands. When they heard Mary saying you can start using it, some of them just clap their hands and shouted with joy.
This past Friday, the fundamental students were assigned to do all the conversations from Unit,1,2 and 3. Most of them did it better than expected, but some still need to practice more between classes. The level 1 students were asked to do pair up and present the dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21). They did exceptionally well and seemed to enjoy acting out the roles. We are thankful for the progress the students have made within a few weeks.
Finally, we just would like to say thank you to everyone who is supporting the Esther Project to give a brighter and better future to the next generation of our country. The Esther Project means a lot to these young students to build a platform to help them grow in faith and in education to become the leaders of their people like Queen Esther in the Bible.
Solomon Shwe Oke (Esther Project Myanmar)
By the guidance of God, the Esther Project Myanmar 2018 has kicked off the 3rd of March. Over hundred people celebrated the opening of the project and this year’s first day of classes. It was such a joy to praise and worship God together and it has proven that God’s plan is always bigger than our plan. We started with a small seed, however now, the Esther Project is growing and has become an educational center for the orphans, youths, and adults who have a passion for a better future not only for themselves but for Myanmar.
It was good to see our students riding on bicycles and heading to the training center again. I can see the smile on their faces and their excitement to begin training again for the returning students. The new students seemed nervous and shy on their first day. The morning class began at 8:00 am and ended up at 12:00 pm and the afternoon class began at 1:00 pm and ended up at 5:00 pm.
We have had a great start this year in both centers by grace. Many of our new students are younger than the last year students, but they are very active and motivated to learn English and computer skills.
As staff members, we are thankful and looking forward to helping the students learn the skills that are necessary to give them a future filled with hope.
Thank you so much for supporting the Esther Project.
Solomon Shwe Oke (Esther Project Myanmar)
Our Esther Project, a non-profit program in Myanmar provides vocational training to orphans. We currently serve over 200 children in 29 orphanages in 6 locations.