From Kajen, Computer Science teacher
“When I see a finger on the keyboard, I see a key not a finger or a hand. I see a key to unlocking the future. Most of my computer students have never seen a computer, a keyboard, laptop or tablet. This is a new world to them. Most of them find it hard at first, it is harder for them to get used to the computer than it is for me to teach them.
Sometimes they become frustrated when they see "the machine" yet lack the skills to operate it. It deeply touches my heart when a student comes to register for the course, desperate to learn and tells me that he has heard about computers from a friend but has never seen one.
Our reality is different from yours. Our kids have a foot in two worlds, the world of computer science and developing technology and a world of poverty, with large families, and no food. My students come from families that are broken, trying to survive, they lack the attention and time that a western child receives, they have to do everything on their own, they have to find the key to the future. I am committed to giving them keys. Sometimes they say that I am tough, true, they have to unlock that door.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish,”
"My students are neither angry nor bitter at their seven year plight. They just want to grab hold of life. They dream and they dream big, maybe even bigger than western kids, cos their life literally depends on their dreams. My students are deep thinkers, their night dreams reflect their day visions. Their dreams and visions will become reality.
"Many never realize they always had the key in the pocket, so they die at the locked door, never reaching deep inside to pull it out."
- A. Liccione.
"I have many students over 18, some even in their twenties with no schooling, as in none whatsoever yet they insist on learning computer skills. Take Khalo for example. He is 28 years old and has not received one day of schooling. He had some psychological issues, forgetting the day and time of class. We gradually helped him to remember and he never misses. He is very poor, there is no laptop in his tent, but his focus is on the future not on his present limited reality. He is passionate about learning. He is one who came with keys in his pockets, just didn't know where they fit.
"Shahla is now 16. She spent six years of her life in the captivity of ISIS. She came with very little education, but oh so hungry to learn. She does all the work required, recording everything on her phone which she then shares with her friends in the camp, teaching them without computer access!
"We achieve greatness by handing our values on to the next generation and empowering them to go, build the future."
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks obm.
"Shahab is 18 a total a star. He has become my assistant. He has graduated several computer science courses and is now learning computer coding with our online teacher Mr Vibin or as he likes to be known, ”The Great V”. Seeing the way Shahab has progressed and is flying has encouraged me to look for new keys, to teach these wonderful kids more and more, and to learn to be both teacher and friend.
"And then we have Shaker, 18 years old, a brilliant student who has just graduated from high school (whilst living in a tent) with an average of 96! He is passionate about computers, he comes to clean them, fixes them, even when it is not class he will turn up with a flash drive to fix a problem, to make sure that they are well maintained. I am so honored to be able to share my knowledge with students who are so appreciative.
"And last but far from least, we have Faisal and Nazefa, husband and wife, who for one year now have walked twice a week with Ceasar, their young son from Old Kalabadri village. That takes them almost an hour each way, sometimes they carry him, they never complain, never ask for help with transport. We send them home with whatever we have, cucumbers, clothes, again they never ask for anything, but we want to honor their efforts in the heat and the cold to study.
"In January, God willing I will give birth to my first child, a daughter. I will be away for three months. I am so excited to meet my baby but I will miss my students. I will be back soon, I can't think about leaving them because for me, it's more than computer science, it is about handing them keys. I have a waiting list."