Why I chose to be a teacher at an NGO

With Teacher Hannah Chin and Teacher Shomaskumar

Dignity for Children Foundation

Interview article also appeared here.

Why I chose to be a teacher at an NGO

How and why did you become a teacher at Dignity?

What gives you satisfaction teaching at Dignity?

How do you keep students motivated & interested to learn?

Read on as Teacher Shom and Teacher Hannah share their experiences and life lessons that Dignity had given them and why they continue to do what they do, even during this challenging period. 

Teacher Hannah
The head of the Upper Primary Department in Dignity, Hannah Mae Chin came to the realisation that life is often not fair. “While we are on our journeys, some of us drew the short straw.” 

The 23-year-old elaborated that for every complain she had about her life, somebody out there is probably facing something much worse.

“So I stopped complaining, and learned to count my blessings and appreciate the beauty of the moment, whatever the moment may be.”

Hannah’s dream to become a teacher started when she spent two weeks tutoring students in Pitas, Sabah. “It became clear to me that I enjoyed explaining things to people. But more than that, there was such a big difference between the rich and the poor when it came to accessing education, and I want to help to bridge that gap.”

Hence, she was glad when she was introduced to Dignity,“ and from there, I believed that I could play a part in making their vision a reality.”

A graduate of International Relations, Hannah hoped that more people would become aware of the social injustices that are happening, and that “We actually play an important part in creating a society where every child is given equal access to education and every person is given an equal chance at life.”

As for Hannah, teaching in Dignity had made her see the difference that the foundation has made for the students. 

“The joy of watching students shine when they finally understand what they are learning can’t be explained with words.”

Each day Hannah ache over the fact that most of the students would go home to dingy, over-crowded households, with parents who may not be able to always put food on the table.

Nonetheless, seeing the world becoming more isolated has strengthened her resolve to continue to reach out and bridge the gap between communities.
Team of Upper Primary teachers during 2019's graduation
Teacher Shom
Shomaskumar Susei admits that life is not easy. Teaching under Dignity had taught him that there will always be various challenges along the way. “But we all need to push through and come out stronger, better,” he said.

A psychology graduate, Shom found out about Dignity from his friend while working at an e-hailing call centre. “I was amazed to find that there is an established school that provides quality education to the marginalised and stateless,” the 28-year-old said.

Shom disclosed that he did not come from a wealthy family and was the first to obtain a degree among his siblings.
“Hence, their mission resonates with my desire to help the underprivileged.” 

He then applied to join Dignity and have been teaching Maths and Business subjects to the lower secondary students.
Always a passionate teacher, he recalled his teacher, Mr Ismail who was kind to him and his classmates despite their mischiefs. “He taught us well and constantly encouraged us to be better and inspired us to learn and grow. And I said to myself that I should do the same when I’m older.”

At Dignity, his students provided him with constant motivation. Shom shared that it was not an easy task to teach the students, “but to know that they can receive education and potentially make a change to their future and their families, that keeps me going.
Teacher Shom from Dignity with the IPET team

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About Dignity Foundation
Dignity for Children Foundation is a one-stop holistic, community learning centres for the underprivileged urban poor, addressing the needs of children from pre-school level to IGCSE ‘O’ level and vocational skills.

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