The Children of Dorie’s Promise Get A Boost in English

Paul Stickland teaching English to the children of Dorie's Promise.

Some of the Dorie's Promise students with Paul.There are always people willing to help and spend time with our children. Recently, our older ones are receiving English classes from Paul Stickland — an Englishman who has been living in Guatemala for seven years.

He heard of Dorie’s Promise several years ago after occasionally seeing the children being taken for walks and playing games. He often wished he could do something to help them — but it only became possible last year once he retired and could finally commit some of his time.

He visited Dorie’s Promise and offered to give the children English conversation classes.

Paul says: “Before retirement, I worked as a banker, and my office supported three charities for children. Each time I visited them I would meet children who were bright and happy, and see how important it is to have a loving home and a good education. I would always come away full of admiration for the people who helped them.

“I give English conversation classes on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to different groups of children, depending on their levels of proficiency and their ages. The experience has been incredibly rewarding, as they are always very keen to learn, and their progress has been truly remarkable.

Playing a game to reenforce the lesson.“I always try to make the classes fun, so we don’t study English grammar, and I don’t set homework. In fact, sometimes in order to get the children to practice their English, I ask them silly questions and we all laugh. For example, when talking about pets and animals, I have asked them if they would prefer to have a dog, a cat, an elephant, a giraffe, a lion, a tiger — and they respond very well.”

Ana Lucia says: “I am so excited to learn English; I like the language so much, and I will learn how to communicate with the missioners.”

Abraham Cabrera says: “Paul’s class is funny. I like it because I don’t get bored.”

“For me,” Paul explains, “it is so gratifying to hear their advancement in English and how they show interest in learning new things every day. I appreciate the opportunity to teach them and be part of their lives.

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