By Jonathan Guignard
Two local girls are packing their bags and saying goodbye to Magrath for a journey down south to help children in need.
Renata Williams and Hallie Chipman will embark on an adventure of a lifetime in San Jose Iturbide, Mexico and teach children how to speak English.
They plan on spending four months abroad with International Learning Programs (ILP), an organization that allows people to live in and explore another country while making a difference in children’s lives.
Chipman came up with the idea and Williams thought it was a great opportunity for both of them.
“We are going to get to experience the culture to its fullest. Being there for four months will let us learn about the food, the people and the culture,” said Williams.” We will get to see different places, but at the same time we get to help children and change their lives.”
The school they are going to is brand new and with it brings a different type of experience.
“We will be the first ones to teach there. It’s a lot pressure, we have to bring all new supplies and will be the school’s first teachers,” said Williams.
The idea of teaching young children is something they are really looking forward to.
“I’ve always enjoyed working and being around kids and seeing them progress. I’m just excited to help them and be involved in their lives,” said Chipman.
The style of teaching that will be required to do is very hands on and is meant to make it easier for children to learn English.
“The way we have to teach is through active play. It’s not just a sit down kind of learning. We teach them by playing games, by doing arts and crafts and different things like that,” said Williams.
The experience will undoubtedly be life changing and Williams and Chipman are ready to embrace it.
“I’ve always loved helping other people and a lot of people say in order to find yourself, sometimes you have to forget yourself along the way. I want to go and make a difference,” said Chipman.
“I want to find myself while I’m there. I want to come back knowing what I want to do, I want to know what my next step is in life and I want to come back ready and better than ever,” said WIlliams.
Having each other there will make the transition between cultures a little bit easier for them.
“It’s having that comfort from home. It’s nice to have someone there who will have your back if you need it,” said Chipman.
There is also a girl from Raymond who is making the trip with Williams and Chipman along with a girl from Calgary. They will be leaving on August 20, and returning on December 18.