Beyond English

Some of my best friends in Santiago aren’t actually Chilean, but gringos.

Americans who came to Chile to work for Beyond English, a social enterprise that teaches English in schools, but at the same time runs a number of community projects.

Beyond English saw the need to democratize access to learn English in Chile and launched a pilot program in 2012 for children in at-risk communities, going beyond just teaching English.

The aim is to improve the level of English spoken in the lower socio-economic parts of Chilean society, kids who, by their lack of English, would not have a chance to get a scholarship to go abroad, for example.

My friends who work there are some kind of hybrid volunteers. They earn money, but at the same time do a lot of volunteer charity work on different projects, which seems to me a great deal for both sides.

But it’s probably best to let them explain it themselves:

Beyond English from Miguel Soffia on Vimeo.

Right now, they are looking for funding for some of their community projects. If you want to support my friends, make a little donation here.

Their projects focus on intercultural exchange, critical thinking education, and global citizenship values.

Right now, two fun projects are being prepared, related to healthy living.

The first one is about making smart choices when eating and cooking. Activities include a conversation about the psychological influence that our food choices have on our emotions and a Master Chef-type competition for the whole family.

Their second project focuses on the importance of physical activities through a Sports Fair and motivational talks from athletes.

I donated a little to these projects. It makes all the difference if you know the people behind a project, instead of just sending money to an anonymous organization somewhere. I can’t wait to see their reports on Facebook.

I just love to see Hannah, Nacho, Sophia, Chris and the others in this.

Damn, I wish I could teach English!