Project Overseas is a program of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) under which educators from across Canada volunteer their time in the summer (three and five weeks, most often during July) to work with co-tutors in host countries to present professional learning workshops to teachers in host countries.
All expenses are paid by CTF and the affiliated federations. Some past host countries include destinations in the Caribbean and East Africa. To apply or learn more, visit the ETFO Website!
Local ETFO Waterloo Member Mike Beetham has participated in the experience on a couple of occasions. He shares his thoughts below:
Project Overseas is an amazing opportunity! I participated in Project Overseas for the third time during July 2013.
I have been fortunate enough to have spent all three projects in Sierra Leone in partnership with the Sierra Leone Teachers Union as they work to enhance the expertise of their teachers and, ultimately, the educational system of their country.
As is any partnership, the learning was a reciprocal process. Working side-by-side with my Sierra Leone counterparts, they shared personal tragedies that had occurred during their civil war, the desperate working conditions that exist in many villages, the low wages or high number of teachers who are not paid at all! Most importantly, each and every day the teachers expressed how grateful they were for the team of Canadians who were there to help them bring their country out of the desperate life that exists there currently.
My experiences gave me a true understanding of the quote that is mounted outside of the Sierra Leone Teachers Union site, ‘To Liberate, Is to Educate’.
I would like to thank both my local and provincial affiliate for the support they provide to this life-altering project. In addition, I know that each and every ETFO member who participates in the in-country program is supported by the thousands of teachers who are part of our union family.
I would highly recommend that teachers get involved in this global project. If you have any inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact me.