Camp Fun with Mother Tongue Education

In some areas in eastern Europe where war has destroyed houses and roads, it has also ruined opportunities for education. Sometimes as many as 44% of all school-age children stay home, especially those whose mother tongue is not the same as the language of classroom instruction. To give such children a chance for an education, they were invited to spend a week at a camp, studying and relating to other children in their mother tongue. 

During the week away from home, their appreciation for their own language grew—spoken at home, sung by their mothers, the language of their hearts, though not used in school. Games were played, alphabet charts were presented, and a spelling competition was held—all in their own language. Their eyes sparkled, confidence was in the air—this was a subject they knew all about! They knew how to answer all the language-related questions and everyone received a prize. 

Confidence is the first step, skills are the second. Language development in some eastern areas of Europe means reaching out to where the younger generation is, handing them the first building blocks for their own future—the words, letters and phrases written in their own language.