A kind-hearted and adventurous teacher from a Kings Langley school is to relocate to West Africa to teach disadvantaged students and train fellow educators based there.
Jeremy Gwynn, who teaches at Rudolf Steiner School in Langley Hill, will move to Sierra Leone on Friday, July 30 for five months to assist at the Goderich Waldorf School, in Freetown.
The 48-year-old explained: “Goderich Waldorf School was founded by a Liberian social worker, Shannoh Kandoh, in 2001.
“He wanted to make a difference to the lives of children living in Sierra Leone as they had been orphaned and displaced following war, forced into prostitution or to beg on the streets.
“Shannoh set up a school based on the philosophies of theorist Rudolf Steiner, but the conditions are incredibly basic.
“A Steiner school in Hampshire has sent over a teacher in the past to assist and when I heard in November that they were looking for another teacher to help I jumped at the chance.”
Mr Gwynn found out he had been selected to go to Sierra Leone in January and the trip is being paid for by Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners , the German contingent of Rudolf Steiner schooling.
The Kings Langley school has also shown their support by holding a number of fundraising events since December to help raise money for the West African school.
Students, parents and staff turned out in force last Saturday to an African Dance Party, raising thousands of pounds which will go directly towards improving the schooling conditions at the Goderich Waldorf School.
The father-of-four, who has about 20 years of teaching experience, said: “While I’m over there I’ll be educating teachers with Steiner methods and I’m sure I’ll be called on to teach classes.
“Steiner methods are very specific – it involves staying with a class from the age of six to 14 and teaching pupils a number of subjects – I teach maths, English, science and music.
“My wife and children have been incredibly supportive of my decision to go, and as for the other members of staff- well they think I’m mad, but I’m sure they are a little envious too.
“I’m excited to be going, but apprehensive too - what with the conditions and the malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
“Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world, with one of the highest death rates. But I’ve reached a point in my career where I feel up for a challenge, and this is definitely it.”
To help support the Goderich Waldorf School visit http://www.rsskl.org/community-events/connecting-continents.aspx