Manos International in rural Hebei has launched its new semester –with a Saudi Arabian theme. On February 18, 2012, the volunteer teachers of this unique education aid program rearranged their school classroom to create a Saudi Arabian atmosphere for their students.
The charitable NGO was set up in 2004 when John Alvarez and his wife came to Shijiazhuang, capital city of Hebei Province, as foreign language teachers. When they were invited by a friend to spend the lunar New Year in Fangtou Village in rural Hebei, they fell in love with the deep peace and friendly hospitality they found there. Having initially made a 3-month teaching commitment, they decided to stay put and start an aid education program that they named Manos International.
Manos International students at their Saudi Arabian theme activities. [Manos International]
Manos International currently has programs in six elementary and junior high schools in Tangxian, Pingshan and Gaocheng counties. About 30 foreign volunteers travel to rural Hebei during their vacations to teach English or give cultural courses. The curriculum includes basic knowledge, cuisine and music of foreign countries. The teachers use toys and games to interact with the children and even give each child an English name. Class emphasis is on participation and initiative.
Born in Miami, John Alvarez previously worked for YMCA, dedicating himself to the education of young men in poor areas across the globe. He now runs Manos International which provides children from 4 to 18 with education aid, including English learning, cultural education and exchanges, summer camps and sports activities.
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