We’ve made a difference – building confidence through speaking English

Like some of her classmates, Sarah (pseudonym), a form six student is afraid of speaking English in front of the class. “It is so embarrassing to say something incorrect,” she says. Over the years, English was the most challenging subject to her.

Thanks to TUF Program Mentors, Sarah now speaks with confidence because of the Mentors’ continuous encouragement. “I am so thankful for her help. I remembered she said “speak without fear” in the first lesson so I tried. Now I think English is a lovable subject.” Sarah claimed.

The young girl never treated study seriously in the past. Sarah admitted that she was lazy and wasting her life in earlier days.

Since teenagers desperately need love and approval from others, Sarah also looks for friendship with TUF Program Mentors. “I am so glad to have friends like them (TUF Program Mentors). Thanks for their encouragement and I will work harder and fight for my future. I appreciate their efforts to help me overcome my weaknesses.”

Throughout the autumn school term, TUF Program Mentors met Sarah and her classmates in small groups regularly after lessons to practise English oral skills. “Sarah is lacking self-confidence and that hinders her studies,” said Phoebe Leung, one of the TUF Program Mentors, “I praised and encouraged her to speak English, urged her to practise more and let her know she could do well if she puts efforts in it.” In addition to that, Program Mentors devoted quality time to chat and write letters back to cheer her up.

TUF program aims to strive for education equality by providing additional support to students who are struggling to attain quality education because of limited resources from schools and families. Professionally trained TUF Program Mentors work with teachers in partner schools to develop education programs and activities that serve to increase learning motivation and self-esteem among students.

The first TUF program began its operation in August 2011 in a secondary school in Tsuen Wan. Around 1,000 students are benefiting since then.

The program will continue to expand in Hong Kong. We plan to have 2 more schools joining in 2012, serving additional 1,500 students.

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