Our centers around the world operate free and open classes, taught by local teachers in congruence with international volunteers. In the developing countries where we operate, the education systems are still lagging behind. Public schools are unable to equip children with the tools they need to face the future with confidence. Our main focus is to compensate for these gaps by teaching English, math and computer skills in order to enable our children to spread their ideas through communication.
In addition, we teach leadership and life skills and conduct educational workshops; these focus on enhancing our students' problem-solving skills, team-work capabilities and artistic development. We believe that it is absolutely fundamental that the children are encouraged to flourish and blossom in whatever capacity they choose, and to learn the value of their heritage and the importance of their voice. This mission is enhanced by our sponsor communication program and our aspiration for class-to-class sponsorships where our children can pass on their lessons through letters and presentations to their sponsor-classes around the world.
The class sponsorship program consists of English, math and computer classes that are taught by volunteers at each center. The program was created as a supplement to The Education Program (TEP), which allows children to attend public school, because we could not financially afford to admit all TEP applicants and because the public schools that serve the children of IHF are located in poor areas and do not provide quality education. For example, many of these schools do not teach computer skills or a level of math that is required for high school entrance exams. Additionally, there is a mentality among some of the teachers that because the children are poor they will never require a higher level of education.
Dollar for dollar, the class sponsorship program has the greatest long term impact on the children of IHF. The cost to educate each student is approximately USD $1.50 to USD $2.00 per month and covers teacher stipends, electricity costs of the center, and class supplies.