Unlike many other service organizations, who charge volunteers hundreds - even thousands - of dollars to participate in their program, LE relies on the generosity of donors and alumni who share our vision that students should not have to pay to volunteer. Teaching English with LE is based on our volunteers' commitment and hard work, not their ability to pay a program fee.
In the classroom, you have control. We give you the tools to teach, but you are responsible for developing a curriculum that best suits your class. Our goal is to increase communication, and you decide on the best method to do that. You are encouraged to bring your own flare and skills to teaching. If you want to write songs for your students to sing, do it! If you have a knack for art, and want to incorporate it into your lessons, you’re free to do so.
While you do have a set work schedule, your free time is yours. However, we encourage all volunteers to spend as much time as possible with their host families, students, and communities, as it often provides the most meaningful experiences for everyone.
Learning Enterprises began as a way of connecting people who had expertise to share and time to spare. Volunteers, most of whom were college students, had their summers free, and also had the ability to teach English. The children in rural villages also had their summers free, and these villages had a demand for extra English language classes. To take advantage of these circumstances, someone just needs to connect the two parties, and that is what Learning Enterprises does every summer. The volunteers pay their way to the village, and the local communities pay the living expenses of the volunteers – room and board for an average of six weeks. The program largely operates on the goodwill and trust between the volunteers and the people they teach. Learning Enterprises facilitates this meeting by screening host communities and families as well as preparing the volunteers to teach and become acclimated to a different culture. Learning Enterprises is centered on the idea of connecting people.
Everyone who works for Learning Enterprises is a volunteer, whether they are the ones teaching English or the ones planning the LE programs. We continue to exist because volunteers who believe in the mission of LE spend their time and enthusiasm supporting what we do. We have been having a great time teaching, traveling, and meeting new people since 1992, and we don’t expect this to change anytime soon!
Teaching with Learning Enterprises is many things. “Interesting,” “educational,” “fulfilling,” and “eye-opening” are all words that Learning Enterprises alumni have used to describe their experience. However, we don’t want to gloss over one simple fact: teaching with Learning Enterprises is tons of fun!
Orientation offers volunteers the chance to bond with one another before setting out for their villages. Days in the village are filled with games with the children, local celebrations, and sightseeing. Some programs also include a midpoint break, where volunteers meet for a weekend in the middle of their teaching assignment. Many also choose to travel together after the program ends.
As Learning Enterprises expands, we try to keep things simple and not lose sight of our core values. We exist in order to promote the ideals of our mission statement, not to promote ourselves. Learning Enterprises started as a way of connecting people who had skills to offer with those who needed them. We run a minimal yet efficient operation. Our model for operating has served us well since its inception, and it should continue to function for many more years to come.