Former Students On Mission To Help Bali School

Two intrepid explorers from Teesside have embarked on a mission to boost the education prospects of underprivileged schoolchildren in Bali.

Hollie Laing and Molly Vasey, former students at Redcar & Cleveland College, have visited the country to provide free English classes to 5-12 year-olds at a local school in the small fishing port of Tianyar.

They got the opportunity after teaming up with Volunteer in Bali, a not-for-profit organisation that provides aid and educational activities for underprivileged children in the Tianyar, Seraya, Ubud and Tabanan regions.

The scheme was launched to improve the English language skills of pupils so they are better able to get a job when they leave school. They also learn transferable life skills, including teamwork, communication and problem-solving, by getting involved in other activities such as sport, art, music and dance.

As well as carrying out their teaching duties, Holly and Molly also donated clothes, books and stationery to the school, which is located in one of the least affluent areas of the country.

Hollie, 24 from Redcar, said: “We posted a Facebook request before we went and we were inundated with people who came forward with various goods for us to take. We weren’t able to fit everything in as we only had a backpack each to carry everything!

“The teaching was a great experience for us both, especially for me as I am thinking about teaching as one of my career options.”

Hollie completed a Level 3 health & social care course at Redcar & Cleveland College before progressing to Teesside University to embark on a degree in early childhood studies. Having recently completed her degree, she is now fully focused on completing her PGCE teaching qualification, which starts this September.

Hollie said: “The college course was an ideal way of progressing to university and hopefully a rewarding career in teaching. I have a good mix of academic qualifications and teaching experience on my CV and that should help me get a job once I’ve finished my teacher training course.”

Molly, 21 from Redcar, also completed a level three health and social care course at Redcar & Cleveland College before going on to study counselling and psychology at Teesside University. Both girls work as part-time baristas in Coastal Coffee on Redcar’s seafront.

Tracy Williams, learner progress tutor at Redcar & Cleveland College, said: “It’s great to see how far Hollie and Molly have progressed since leaving our college. They demonstrated a first-rate attitude while studying here and their dedication to the Bali project was commendable. They certainly have the application and ability to be successful in their chosen career.”

For further information on Redcar & Cleveland College, please call 01642 473 132 or visit http://www.cleveland.ac.uk.

Photo: (l-r) Molly Vasey and Hollie Laing in Bali.