Monday, March 3, 2014

Books—and a tablet PC—for a hard-working teacher in Pakistan

In 12/13, I received a compelling email from Tayyab Ajmal in Pakistan:
I teach primary, secondary and tertiary students (poor/needy) English but its all pathetic situation. We do not have books, libraries or book shops over here in my city. The habit of reading is dying day by day which is not a good thing.

Can you plz send a copy of Vocabulary Cartoon of the Day book. 


Despite how much I dread waiting in line at the post office (I value the service but it sometimes seems they go slow on purpose), I immediately said yes. Tayyab’s excerpted response:
thanks for your reply as i thought i am from Pakistan and so no one will reply.

This was heartbreaking.

Tayyab asked several more questions:

Is it ok if i can be in loop like asking some questions regarding  English language, vocab and grammar etc. in future?

Do you know any tutor/post grad student on Skype who can be my MENTOR.

Can you advise any classic movies for improving English. I am a big fan of Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.

I said yes, no, and yes, and recommended movies including Twelve Angry Men and The Sound of Music.

I asked if Tayyab discovered me because I wrote a children’s book about Pakistan many years ago:

He said yes and then asked the following: 
Is it possible if i can get a Tablet PC (new/used) as a donation. It would be a really good AID to teach as i do not have my PC. Can you check with your family and friends as its CHRISTMAS ahead so any one like to GIVE/GIFT.

I do not need an expensive one just a normal one with normal specs like i can teach through videos, play audio files, share picture/photo for vocab building etc. [He sent this link.]

In response to this, I cut him a deal. 

I asked him to send me photos of his students with the books I would send and in exchange I’d blog about this experience—including a call to action to raise the money to send this clearly passionate teacher a tool that would be a relatively small cost for some of us and a huge asset for him. 

He sent photos:

So it is my turn.

How to help me help improve a few lives (AKA Kickstarter Lite):

Please simply PayPal me $5; to do that, all you need is approximately 27 seconds and my email, (If you prefer to mail a check, email me for my address.)

To make this happen, I estimate we’ll need about $250, including shipping. That’s only 50 people contributing only $5. (Of course, should you wish to give more, that will be gladly welcomed. Also welcomed: suggestions as to which tablet to get him.)

Once we hit the goal, I’ll stop accepting donations and add an addendum here indicating the effort has completed successfully.

We’ll likely never meet Tayyab or his students, but we will know the effect of this small gesture.

I’ll again ask him to send us a photo of his students, this time with the tablet PC.

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