RMOWP member Kenita Gibbins of Denver recently returned from Siedlce, Poland, serving with Global Volunteers in Poland for the sixth time, and highly recommends the organization for those who love children and possess a sense of adventure. And, Kenita adds, you do not have to speak Polish to qualify to teach English to Polish students, although it helps to know basic grammar rules.
Yes, Kenita believes in helping children in America, but she also feels it is of utmost importance to show children around the world that Americans truly care about them. By reaching one child at a time, she says, we can create growth toward understanding and peace, and everyone needs to know how people different from themselves exist in the world.
The small city of Siedlce is located about 1 1/2 hours east of Warsaw. Kenita’s typical day there began with a team breakfast, and then she and two teammates were driven to a village school where they taught two classes. Kenita’s students were fifth graders. The team was then driven to another school where they taught two more classes. After lunch Kenita planned her lessons for the next day and tutored a 17-year-old high school boy in conversational English. The students act and look like American young people, although most don’t have as many privileges as American youth, she said. They learn English at their schools, but they seldom or never have the opportunity to hear English spoken by a native speaker.
Global Volunteers needs volunteers, according to Kenita. You may call the Global Volunteer office in St. Paul, Minnesota for more information at 800-487-1074, or visit the organization’s website, www.globalvolunteers.org
“Americans are funny people. We think we can fix all of the world’s problems,” Kenita says. But in Poland she learned that the Poles are in charge and we are there only to help. Kenita thinks that all of America would do well to learn that lesson.