What's it all about?
Wales and Lesotho in southern Africa might not seem like the most likely of couples, but since the Dolen Cymru link was launched in 1985 the two countries have formed a strong bond. Individuals, communities and organisations in both countries have all benefitted from the partnership, and now over 130 schools are linked, reaching over 40,000 children in Wales.
Each year six teachers from Wales are given the chance to take the 8,600 mile trip to Lesotho to visit schools and share skills. The project lasts for about six months – from January to June and is a fantastic opportunity to work in the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho and share your experiences with schools in Wales.
What does it involve?
There are six positions available in the project: five for teachers and one as a mentor. You’ll be flown out to Lesotho in January for six months in a school just outside the capital, Maseru, where you’ll be teaching for five days a week – normally from 8am to 2 or 4pm, depending on whether it’s a primary or secondary school. Classes can be much bigger than you’re used to in the UK – on average around 40-50 pupils, but there can be more.
Exactly what you’ll teach will depend on your own experience and ability, but it will most likely also include some English, Maths and a few extra-curricular activities. The mentor may not have to spend as many days teaching, but will be required to cover a lot more administrative work and look after the wellbeing of the group.
It won’t be easy, but it will be rewarding and something you remember for years to come.
You can find a full list of teacher and mentor duties.
What training do I need?
To apply all you need is to be a fully qualified teacher or NQT who is from Wales, teaching in Wales or trained in Wales. If your application’s successful you’ll be given a series of training courses to prepare you for the project – from basic travel help and advice to information on local culture and the Lesotho education system. You can read about these in more detail in the FAQs section of the Dolen Cymru website.
What does it cost?
The project is incredibly important to both countries and this is reflected in the funding and organisation. Dolen Cymru will arrange all your flights, transfers, accommodation, placements, insurance and support, as well as provide a monthly salary to cover the cost of accommodation and living expenses. This is usually in the region of £640 a month for teachers and £1100 a month for the mentor (which is also required to cover additional work-related expenses for the group).
Can I apply?
There are a few simple requirements for the programme, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect. To apply you need to be:
- a qualified teacher in a school in Wales
- a student teacher training in Wales (who will be qualified by September)
- the owner of a valid UK passport
- in good physical and mental health.
When’s the deadline?
Applications for the 2016 are now open. Click on the link to the Dolen Cymru link below for more information on how to apply.
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