'Teen Teach' Documentary Inspires Hope

Posted by Anna P. Mussman
April 12, 2012
Teen Teach Afghanistan

Harnessing the energy and talents of youth, "Teen Teach" is a unique public diplomacy program run by our embassy in Kabul that trains Afghan teenagers to teach English. It began last summer and reached more than a thousand young learners in Afghanistan during that time period.

"'Teen Teach' gives these bright, enthusiastic teenagers the opportunity to pass along their knowledge of English to younger children," Ambassador David Pearce says in a documentary that U.S. Embassy Kabul put together to spotlight the program. "The program not only provides these children with an education that stresses the rich cultural heritage of Afghanistan, but it also helps to open their eyes to the wider world, and -- in so doing -- puts them in a position to realize their dreams of a better life."

Twenty-four Nangarhar teenagers, 12 males and 12 females, were selected and trained as teachers last May. "We learned a lot in this short period of training," said Nadia at the end of the training. "I wish our teachers knew about this new methodology of teaching." Following their training, each of the 24 "Teen Teachers" selected 60 students -- 20 per class. The demand, however, was so high that they asked to add five more students to each class, raising the total number of students to 1,800.

Following the teachers was a crew of five Afghan teens who filmed classes and captured more than 24 hours of raw footage. At the same time, on the other side of the ocean, Los Angeles students studying film at Grover Cleveland High were getting ready to compile the photos and films to create a "Teen Teach" documentary. In preparation, the Los Angeles students learned about Afghan culture and history, visited an Afghan family, ate at an Afghan restaurant, and created scale models of Afghan classrooms -- one historical, and one modern-day.

"They've done a complete 180 degree turn to seeing the people from that region as friends," wrote their film teacher, Ms. Evelyn Seubert. "Seventy percent of my students are from poverty level homes. But they get free meals here at school; and free education. The fact that children in Afghanistan fight to get into school has not been lost on them. The fact that they have had to fear to go to school; or been denied that privilege, has not been lost on them. The fact that so many have lost limbs, family members, lives -- has not been lost on them."

The Los Angeles teens worked endless hours to edit, mix, and match scenes. "Their hearts have truly been opened," wrote Ms. Seubert about her students, "and there is nothing like spending a lot of time editing the images of those precious young children and earnest teen teachers to get to the teenage soul!" The final cut of "Teen Teach 2011" is a living document that not only highlights the challenges and successes of the Teen Teach program, but also demonstrates the strong thirst Afghan children have for learning and the critical role Afghan youth can play in shaping the destiny of their country.

Watching the video on the Internet, Nangarhar high school students commented on the film on a social network site. "Students are like flowers and candles for our country," wrote Hameed. "If these candles die, we will never achieve our purpose -- our country will never progress.""I was one of the film crew," wrote Safia, "and it was so interesting for me to film the classes in different schools. I hope that next summer the 'Teen Teach' program will start again."

The "Teen Teach" documentary can be viewed here.

Comments

Comments

Safia K.
|
Afghanistan
April 14, 2012

Safia in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear Anna Mussman

Thank you from the nice report about the Teen Teach program. i am so happy being a member of GCE program through which i found the way to work in a nice program Teen teach. the teen teach program was so nice program as i observed it in all female schools of Jalalabad it worked well. many students got advantages from it and learned the skills of English language. the Teen Teach program also kept students active in summer breaks and persuaded them to study and use their summer breaks wisely.

i would like to say thanks to dear Anna and US embassy for the nice facilities also thanks to Ms. Evelyn Seubert for her assists and hard working for afghan students.

Best regards
Safia K.

Ulfat K.
|
Afghanistan
April 14, 2012

Ulftat K. in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear all

I really hope you are doing well and fine. I got really happy about Teen Teach Program in Afghanistan. Actually after being graduated from the school students need a training in how to be teaching well.
In my point of view Teen are powerful and energetic, it is really great chance for the for them after being trained and then start teaching. I am one of Teen Teach program participant and now I am a teacher and I really appreciate Madam Anna for this facility. Thank you for reading my comment

Ulfat K. IT Trainer of Wazeer Moahammad Gull Khan High Scool.

Akiko G.
|
California, USA
April 16, 2012

Akiko G. in California writes:

To make it short, simple and sweet: the Afghan project was eye-opening. I was only able to generalize the country as third world before, but now I know they are a land of massive potential with suppressed opportunities.

Akiko G.,
Production Design Team

Naomi N.
|
California, USA
April 16, 2012

Naomi N. in California writes:

The project opened my horizons to a world I otherwise never would have known. Learning about the girls was inspiring and I can't feel more grateful to these girls for paving the way for more powerful women.

Naomi N.,
Production Design Team

Danielle A.
|
California, USA
April 16, 2012

Danielle A. in California writes:

The Afghan project made me realize how thankful I should be for all the opportunities I have every single day.

Danielle A.,
Production Design Team

Roheed
|
Afghanistan
April 16, 2012

Roheed in Afghanistan writes:

in the name of almighty Allah

so i am very thankful from yours to such a nice issue an i like it there is really good and useful information i really like it

Abdul ".
|
Afghanistan
April 16, 2012

Abdul Q. in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear Anna

Wishing you sound health,

About the Teen Teach program I can surely says; that this program is the only better way

For the teenagers to learn English in a safe environment and have their three months vocation

As an opportunity for learning English as they are interested to be active in English.

with having the good impacts of this program on the students, I would like to request for starting the Teen Teach program once again, till the rest of students able to be the owner of the same English skills which the other have received from the Teen Teach program in the last summer.

Thanks for all the efforts done by Anna and other personalities and wish for their farther assists with the Afghan students.

Abdul Q.
IT Trainer of Technical Institute.

jamila p.
|
Afghanistan
April 16, 2012

Jamila in Afghanistan writes:

Greetings to all,

I hope every one is doing well, teen teach is the best innovation in Afghanistan funded by US department of state , and it was in progress by the strong commitment and heavy struggles of Honorable personality Madam Anna mussman and her partners.because after training those teenagers are able to be best teachers, i most of them are teaching now adays they become teachers so it shows the beneficent of this useful program. i was not the member of teen teach because i was university student that time but i was completely aware of this great idea. i am the member of GCEPE project since last six(6) years and now i am the IT Trainer for Bibihawa Girls H.S . most of my students were participated this program and they are very happy for being members of teen teach program and they want to become members of this program again, specially when they saw the teen teach video submitted by Madam Anna. it was really interesting for all GCEPE students, school students, principle and school teachers.

warm regards
Jamila
IT Trainer Bibihawa H.S

Zohal
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Zohal in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear Anna,

Many thanks for this informative link about Teen Teach, I really happy to hear about this great program, it is really great opportunity to all students to take part and get benefit from, but the three summer months are not enough to learn better English, we hope and request that if this program start long with the GCE program then students will be able to learn English in good and fluent way, as that we know English is really important because whenever we do not know English then how to join the GCEP and how to post and reply, so if we have this Teen Teach program long during the year then we will have much better English,

Thanks
Zohal from Bibi Aisha H.S

Shohab
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Shohab in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear Anna

I hope you succeed and healthy

Thanks for such nice program which had in Nanagarhar province

I really appreciated you are outstanding activities which you are doing for the new generation of Afghanistan. I proud of your hard working for the nice feeling that you shared with the people of Afghanistan because Afghanistan made artillery within three dedicate war than our country need for knowledge the countries who have the reached economic should help with our suffered people and I hope you respected people discover such useful program in a future.

Thanks
Shohab Abdul Wakil HS IT Trainer

Manizha
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Manizha in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear Anna!

This is Manizha student of Bi Bi Aisha high school in 12th grade. Hope to be fine and doing well.

According to your nice and important issue!

Teen teach is the meaningful and positive program by which students can easily learn and get English skills, and also by the way of this program our all students English skill will be improve and they can solve their problems so hope to be start again because our some girls family don’t let their daughters to go to out side the school courses and some of them poor and can not pay for the courses fee, so this teen teach program is so important and have great impact on students learning, many thanks from your hard work and struggle, as we know that you always persuade us to improve and increase our education, then I kindly request that to start this Teen teach program in every school again and continue it long with GCE program in every school, because we really have lots of problems when we work on online sites, we can not share our ideas and thoughts in good way so if this program keep on then all students will have great English skills,

Thanks

Friba
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Friba in Afghanistan writes:

Hello kind Anna!!!

Thanks for adding this nice efficient information with us, this Teen Teach program is best for learning English, because we are not allow from family side to go to other provide course so it is the nice opportunity for us to join this program in our school, our family let us to learn every thing and program at school, so last year I joined that program and learn little bet, because the three months are not enough to learn much and better English because learning a language is not this much easy so if we have long time for this teen teach program then it will have positive result on students learning, now when we join GCEP then we face with lots of difficulties we can not write good post and replies even our Trainer help us to write and then she correct it for us, really they struggle with us, but by my opinion it is hard, if we have better English then easily we can write post and reply and our own thoughts and views, we request that this program keep it up for long time to we learn better English,

Thanks
Friba from Bibi Aisha H.S

wafiqulllah
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Wafiqullah in Afghanistan writes:

hello dear

hope to be fine and health

thanks from your nice adding that was good and we like that

we are very happy about the teen teach program and that is good for the the student

and all the student need to this kind of the programs we appreciate you to do this kind

of works for the student

thanks

wafiqullah

from abdul wakil H.S

tamimshairzay
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Tamim S. in Afghanistan writes:

hello Madam Anna

wish you fine and have nice moment with your family and friends
thanks from your nice and interesting discussion according to your
topic at first its so good and useful program(Teen teaching) for students
therefor they can learn English so easily and it has lots of profit for our
forthcoming and for all Juvenals and hope that this program going will with
all the participators of this program and like our brothers and sisters mentioned
that these three months are not enough to learn more and more in English language
or to improve their skills so its my suggestion for who managed this program to increase
the time and months for students in schools and they can make centers in safe places for
them to become litterated and educated persons in a community to serve their country and
the meek residents of Afghanistan and their compatriots

Best wishes
Tamim S. from Abdul Wakil high school

reshadahmdi
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Reshadahmdi in Afghanistan writes:

In the name of Allah

hello dear Anna hope to be fine and healthy

thanks from your nice and efficient link which you adding with us.

this program was very nice for learning English because every people needed for this language because it is an international language so the people of Afghanistan poor they can not learn English in provide course this is a good chance for them to join this program in our school .students must take part. because they ready for future teaching but the tree summer months not enough to learn better English.

so we need more help of embassy to arrange us the class of English in our school too.

Reshadahmadi student of Abdul Wakil h/s

samim
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Samim in Afghanistan writes:

hello dear

wish you happiness and sound health

thank you so much from your nice and entrusting discussion

the link you shared was so entrusting and i hope to see the next teenteach program next summer too

this is very good chance for those who wants to teach english

hope that our students partesepate in this program and get much from this chance

thanks

samsorhosen
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Samsor in Afghanistan writes:

In the name of Allah

Hello dear madam Anna hopes you fine and health.

Thanks from your nice and interesting issue which you shared with us,

I am really happy for this teen teaches program this program was so effective for afghan children who don’t have English skill.

This program has a lot of achievement for afghan students.

This is the big help for afghan children to learn English and get knowledge.

If our leaders make a lot of program like this in Afghanistan I think Afghan children will become more intelligent or talented

Thanks
Samsor student of abdul wakil H/S

GCEPE Z.
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Student from Bibi Zainab High School in Afghanistan writes:

Thanks from your nice report dear Madam Anna

As we know that teen teach was nice program for all students and nice opportunity for us to join this program in our school but the three months are not enough to learn much and better English and we want this program to be continue for long time in future because this was very important program for students in this program students can continued their education and improve their English and we are thankful to US embassy who manage the program and provided that program for us and this have good effects on all teenager . After the teen teach program the students can solve their English problem and teachers are became professional it had positive in all schools, but my opinion is to make the program for long time because the 3months are less time to learn effectively.

Best washes
Student from BiBi Zainab high school

Zamarud s.
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Zamurud S. in Afghanistan writes:

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH.

Hello dear Anna.

Thanks for the informational report about the Teen Teach..TEEN TEACH was a meaningful program .I am very thank full to the TEEN TEACH program and I am so happy to this program. I want US embassy to arrange this program in the future too.

I was student of this program, it was nice program for all students and English teachers to learn language, listening, speaking and writhing.

The students were good and their teachers were intelligent. i want the US embassy to arrange this program in the future too and it will be good if the embassy provide a class of English in our school so the students will learn more and
will complete the English learning program

Best wishes
Zamarud S.i from BiBi zainab high school

Muhibullah n.
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Muhibullah N. in Afghanistan writes:

In the name of Allah, most gracious and most merciful.

Hello, for those who read my reply and especially dear Anna

Hope to be fine and healthy.

Thanks very much dear Anna from your nice discussion which you shared with us and by guide of you dear Anna we are going to that sit which you show to us and we check it and it was really effective for our teen teachers and this program was stared in the summer and we wish that this program is will be progress in Nangarhar or in other provinces of Afghanistan and I think that it started their first program in Kabul. This program have more activates in jalalabad, their students also study hard and our Afghan people if that is poor or rich both of them study in this program and this program could help with most of our poor people. I am the eyewitness of this that not only the teachers but also the students can hard study and one day I was also go to this program but by very sadness I couldn’t able to learn in this program and I wish that our teen teachers gave more things from this program because it was free and in my opinion that our people or our students are very happy from this program and wait for this that when there is make courses or programs for us and that is also like this teen teach program and most of my friends graduated from this program thanks very much once again have a good time good bye.

Sincerely yours

Muhibullah N. from Abdul wakil high school,GCEPE lab

Student Z.
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Student of Bibi Zainab High School in Afghanistan writes:

Hello to all viewers of this site

thank you dear Anna for a the good report. Teen teach is very important for all students to learn the English skills

Teenagers are the reason of development a country. Education is very important and very big substance for teenager as you know that we have a computer class but we don’t have English class in our school. We need to improve our English language. We want the teen teach to be continue for long and be the program for long term and include the full English learning skills.

Best wishes.
Student from bibi zainab high school

Riazullah
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Riazullah in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear madam Anna

Wish to be fine and healthy

Thank you so much that you share such a nice discussion with us .Firs of all I would like to say that it’s very great and nice program because English is international language not only here which we use it if we go to other foreign country so we could be able to solve our problems and English can help with us in computer if we don’t know English so we con not to work And its your all of kind that you making this kinds of program and also who help with us I thankful from every one of theme and also we have more courses in jalalabad province but you all of better know the section and we have more pour people which they con not to get admission. And who get this chance they will be very lucky .and once a gain thanks and hope to prepare more this kinds of program.

Riazullha from Abdul Wakil High School.

khoshal
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Khoshal in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear Anna.

Wish you fine and fresh.

Thanks from your pretty and outstanding issue.

The GCEP students want to have English class in their schools

Because the English class is very necessary for GCEP students because

English is an international language.

Dear Anna in Afghanistan most of people are very poor and can’t follow

Courses so we hope you share the issue with US Embassy.

And also the GCEP students will more thankful from you.

Thanks a lot.

Khoshal A. from Abdul Wakil H.S.

Zahidullah R.
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Zahidullah R. in Afghanistan writes:

In the name of Almighty Allah

Hello dear Anna,hope to be fine and healthy.

I was very happy when I read the article about the Teen Teach program.Some students are graduated students from schools in Afghanistan and they need to learn how to teach a class.Teen Teach program is a useful and successful program for all juveniles ,who are graduated from schools.It will help with the graduated students to teach well.

Thanks Zahidullah from Abdul WAKIL High school

attaullah
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Attaullah S. in Afghanistan writes:

In the name of Allah.

Hello dear Anna hope to be fine and healthy.

Thanks from your nice issue that you added for us.

I am really happy to hear about this nice program, and it is very good opportunity to all students that they toke apart and got benefits from it, and they learned many things from it.

When we want to learn English language we need to have a lot of time, and this program had lots of time. From this program we should learn English language better.

Best regard

Attaullah From Abdul Wakil High School

Sabghatullah N.
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Sabghhatullah N. in Afghanistan writes:

In the Name of Almighty ALLAH

Hello Dear sir Mrs. Anna

I wish to be safe and sound. Thanks so much for that you joint subsequently an attention-grabbing and mentionable subject matter as well accordingly fastidious dialogue concerning Teen Teacher Program because we are very happy and grateful for making too nice education program for the students for increasing their statistics, talents, professions, solving their tribulations in English language also gain knowledge of additional so well-organized themes regarding every obsession. On my estimation individuals students who passed the Teen Teacher program all of them may very talented skillful also excellent in their profession, we also kindly request to your so much loved office whether there is not find a problems, please make other resourceful programs for our so underprivileged students to recover their cleverness, endowment, occupations in English language. So we will be able to crack our daily predicaments and learn more proficient data.

Best regards
Sabghatullah from Abdul Wakil high school GCE Lab

Rafiullah
|
Afghanistan
April 17, 2012

Rafiullah in Afghanistan writes:

Hello dear Anna,

Thanks so much from adding such useful issue, actually teen teach program is so important and functional for all poor students, they will learn English language the best. Here in our province we have some private courses that they are work just for earning money and don’t wana help the people and provide educational services. But I am sure that teen teach program is the best one for all us.

Best luck

Kimberly B.
|
California, USA
April 17, 2012

Kimberly H. and Mayra B. in California write:

Hello fellow friends,

As a film editors we were given the opportunity to work on advocating the Teen Teach program through our film.It was a fulfilling experience to see the urge of people pursuing a higher education and making a change in their community. It is very inspiring not only for us but for many. More programs like Teen Teach should flourish throughout Afghanistan and other countries. Fundamentally through these types of programs we are able to communicate with others that shows how learning English changes lives.

Thank You.

.

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