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Still There Is Hope
The main Hope Training Centre in Meyca uayan City in the Philippines is where SCOT projects its overseas charitable work and energies for disadvantaged children who otherwise have nowhere else to go. Since 2009, SCOT has opened four other centres in an effort to reach more children. These locations provide safe and invigorating environments where they are encouraged to socialise and learn basic life skills. The curriculum was written up by Nanette Carillo, an active SCOT trustee. All centre classrooms combines a motif designed by Nanette, Mike de Boer and volunteers that reflect both New Zealand and Philippines.
THE HATCHING GROUND
A year after SCOT Trust New Zealand was formally registered with the Charities Commission in August 2010, preliminary work had begun to fashion out a New Zealand-centric literacy programme for Asian and ASEAN country migrant children in Auckland.
This initiative arose largely after SCOT had successfully established its first overseas Hope Training Centre in the Philippines as a hatching ground where it could reap valuable experiences and use it to fine tune its three-fold ‘Reach-Raise-Release’ Slingshot Empowerment Model for transforming the lives of disadvantaged children. Today, there are a total of eight similar child training centres catering to over 600 street children and orphans in that country.
A BELIEF SYSTEM THAT WORKS
SCOT believes in the old adage that victory loves preparation and that experience is the best teacher. In New Zealand at the present time there are thousands of children starting kinder garten or child care for who English is not their first or home language.
Many of these are young children between 5- to 10-years of age who belong to families of new migrants who come from all parts of Asia where English is not generally used extensively as the medium of instruction in early childhood and primary-level schools.
In New Zealand – a young country composed largely of migrants, SCOT promotes the view that honour ing diversity, respecting and promoting the use of languages other than English but ensuring that our migrant children acquire English successfully as a second language, is fundamental to securing their rights to an early childhood programme that meet their needs and provides them with educational and social outcomes that assist their attaining a high standard of education and a responsible life in the future as productive residents and citizens of this country.
PUNCH ABOVE OUR WEIGHT
As a nation largely composed of migrant peoples, New Zealand’s social, cultural and linguistic diversity has grown to become an established feature since its founding. This demographic reality suggests that erstwhile under our noses this country actually does has a valuable but still underdeveloped asset – its children. Here’s why.
The world’s global and regional socio-economic and political alignments have undergone a radical and often-overlooked transformation in the last 25-years. These major shifts that have occurred now require our nation to adapt quickly. If not addressed, it can impede the future political and economic sustainability of this country. In the midst of this sea of change New Zealand – a small country with a small population and limited natural resources, needs to punch above its weight. To do this, we need to look far into the future but act today using the available human resources we have.
PLAYING OUR CARDS RIGHT
To ascend to higher levels economically, New Zealand needs to invest more in early development of its human resources and particularly in an area that includes the young children of our migrant communities of Asian origin. But what compels this?
Asian economies have demonstrated their ability and agility to adjust to externalities and they will continue to do so from strength to strength. We should not dare to imagine where the world economy might be today or a future without Asia’s in volvement.
This region of the world situated along the rim of the Western Pacific Ocean of which fortunately New Zealand belongs to has consistently been a global growth leader – driving an astonishing 2/3rds of total growth in the 6-years since the crisis hit our shores. It is this part of the world where new chapters of prosperity and opportunity will continue to unfold before us.
In the next 15-years – that is, if we play our cards right, New Zealand could potentially have thousands of bi- and even tri-lingual children who – having in our midst grown up and nurtured to become Kiwis, will nevertheless still have strong ties and contacts to a wide region whose economies in the future will sit squarely at the cross-roads of global trade and commerce.
This country cannot afford to be by-passed. These children are the ones who – because of their social and cultural relations, can be counted upon in our future to help the rest of New Zealand open up op portunities for trade and other commercial endeavours which otherwise other countries with similar demographics will be doing.
THE ESSENTIAL PATHWAYS
Because of SCOT’s own overseas experience in Asia doing what it does as a children’s charitable organisation, it has managed to learn an important lesson: that Asian children’s learning and develop ment always takes place in context of their immediate and extended family members. Their elders are the first and most important educators. They provide their children with relationships, opportunities, encouragement and experiences the total sum of which shape their early development, learning, out look and potential.
Therefore, in the important context of New Zealand, maintenance of the first language and progress in learning English as a second language are the essential pathways for Asian migrant children in achieving the outcomes we desire for the future sustainability and prosperity of our country. That SCOT’s 600 children under care, training and guidance in its Hope Training Centres are learning more about New Zealand is an added plus which it also aims to replicate in other Southeast Asian countries in the future.
LANGUAGE ENABLES OUTCOMES
Language it seems is the most powerful tool in the development of any human being. It is undeniably the greatest tool we possi bly could possess. It plays a significant role in supporting a child’s process of identity formation. It helps children under stand where they fit in new environments they are entering. The acquisition of a second language like English is essential not only to our Asian migrant children’s cognitive development, but also to their social development and disposition, wellbeing and future sense of value.
Having incorporated these insights into a New Zealand variant of SCOT’s Empowerment Model for Transformation, Asian migrant children in this country learning English as a second language will need explicit modelling and language teaching, appropriate time to acquire the new language and quality exposure to English in a culturally sensitive and appropriate way.
That SCOT Trust has managed to reach, raise and is working towards eventually ‘releasing’ over 600 English-speaking children from its overseas training centres speaks volumes for the potential of what SCOT intends to do here in New Zealand – inaugurate a culturally-attuned English literacy programme specifically for young members of Asian migrant families.
ERADICATING THE BARRIERS
Even with limited financial resources at present, SCOT has man aged to complete a curriculum for an intervention programme called “Language Learning With New Friends” that it foresees will benefit young children of migrants from Asian countries whose parents are navigating through the early stages of settle ment in Auckland.
This exciting new programme draws upon the rich body of knowledge, experience and valuable insights that SCOT has ac quired from its overseas charitable operations teaching English as a second language to street children and orphans through all its HOPE Training Centres in the Philippines.
The curriculum for this New Zealand variant was prepared jointly by SCOT Trustees Nanette Carillo and Mike De Boer – both who are language instructors with experience in New Zealand and Asia, together with a graduate from UNITEC who holds an internationally-recognised Cambridge Certificate in English Language Teaching for Adults (CELTA).
Where English is not a first language for children at home and in schools, SCOT’s “Language Learning With New Friends” intervention programme is already designed to provide enrichment activities and lessons in English language focusing on grammar awareness and conversational English. It will equip every child who undertakes the programme to communicate properly in English and, by ultimately doing so, eradicate language barriers they encounter in daily communications.
To accomplish this there is, however, another barrier which SCOT itself has to overcome – sustainable programme funding.
SCOT is first and foremost a New Zealand-based charitable org anisation which has managed to build up its successful child nutrition, education and livelihood skills development interven tion programmes through its overseas operations in Asia. It holds a unique distinction of delivering outcomes through its Slingshot Empowerment Model for transformation because it understands the mindset of Asian parents and their young child ren.
By replicating an English language literacy programme for young children that has already started overseas since 2011, the Trustees of SCOT are now confident they can achieve a good turnout for Asian migrant children in New Zealand. It will start first in Auckland but SCOT needs operational funds raised in New Zealand per se to cover all necessary resources required to get things off the ground and running on a sustainable basis with out impairing or drawing upon its limited budgets for its over seas operations.
FOR MEASURABLE RETURNS
Towards this objective, SCOT will be holding a live pilot demonstration event involving its “Language Learning with New Friends” programme currently scheduled for 16 August 2013 at the Waitakere Community Resource Centre located at No.8 Ratanui Street Henderson.
We therefore are inviting interested parties who may be inclined to support SCOT financially on an on-going or one-off basis as programme sponsors, corporate partners, grantors or donors to personally attend to this event and learn more how SCOT envisions to bring this unique programme to other locations in Auckland where there are concentrations of Asian migrant children in need of this service.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can engage with us, you can also read up a bit about SCOT’s framework for engagements with measurable returns by opening this link.
Mike de Boer:
SCOT Trust New Zealand | Language Learning with New Friends
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