We started the Gateway project in September 2018 to offer free tuition in English language and information technology to 96 disadvantaged children in two adjoining poor suburbs of Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
The project was made possible by substantial initial grants. Thanks to further generous sponsorship, our work in the suburbs of Bishkek has been extended to a total of 150 children and from three days to five days a week.
The participating children attend extra-curricular lessons in English language and information technology (IT). They learn in small groups and even attend lessons on Saturdays! The classes are held in a local secondary school and run by a dedicated team of adults under the guidance of our local manager. We also aim to place a volunteer with English mother tongue to assist the children’s linguistic development.
English and IT are the two skills most necessary for our students to find meaningful employment in their adult life and hence the capacity to help their communities. Our aim is that the students will gain sufficient IT skills to be able to pursue their own independent online studies in the future. We work in close contact with parents and carers to ensure regular attendance, monitoring progress through graded tests.
During the Covid-19 pandemic we raised funds to ensure the continuity of online education where necessary and provided sanitation and hand-washing facilities for children.