Former Drumheller student teaching in Roatan
Residents from Drumheller have shown material support to the Morgan Jayne Project and the Charmont Academy for more than a decade, and now a well-known face will be teaching at the school.
Jaiden Lal completed most of her schooling in Drumheller, but moved to Australia for her Grade12 year. She has since graduated and was given the opportunity to teach at the Charmont Bilingual Academy in Roatan. Last week she made the trek and is already training.
Leaving from Australia, travelling half way around the world sound like a daunting task, Jaiden appears to take it in stride.
“Actually it kind of was a spur of the moment decision, a year and a half ago, an opportunity like the one Valerie (Nelson of Familias Saludables), gave me would have scared the hell out of me,” she tells the Mail. “It took me about a month to decide that I was going to accept, I’d always fantasized about a gap year of travel, but when my dad told me about the opportunity it felt like fate- that’s how I viewed moving to Australia, if an amazing opportunity came right to me then I can’t turn it down.”
In fact, she credits her move to Australia a couple of years ago for giving her the perspective she needed to take on such a challenge.
“Moving to Australia allowed me to meet so many amazing people from so many countries. I now have friends in Germany, Brazil, Chile, and of course, some Aussies. But so many of those friends were international students who had come from so far away, and left it all behind to have a new experience,” she explains. “That courage that I saw in those people definitely gave me the courage to accept the offer to volunteer with the Morgan Jayne Project. My dad was a huge influence too, he’s always put it in my head that travel is of amazing value and he definitely set an example for me that it’s more important to get out of your bubble and experience the world than to let fear of change hold you back.”
The Morgan Jayne Project appears to have had a profound affect on her life. Founded by Fred Makowecki in remembrance of his daughter its goal is to curb the spread of AIDs in Roatan.
“The Morgan Jayne project is important to me because I’m very passionate about human rights, and women’s rights. My views have completely shifted in the past year since moving to Australia and I’m very passionate about feminism, and I believe that the Morgan Jayne project is really making a significant difference in the lives of a lot of women- a lot of young mothers, and a lot of young girls, and that’s profound to me,” she explains. “I’m also a big believer in education being a powerful tool to change the world, and I feel really lucky to be getting this kind of experience at such a young age so that I can spend the rest of my life being aware of how privileged I really am.”
She will be at the school for 10 months teaching Grade 7 and 8. She says she has a passion for reading, writing and public speaking and looks forward to sharing that with her students.
After that, she might find herself back in the classroom. “I still have aspirations to study law, but honestly I don’t have any career plans at this moment. The only thing I know is that my work is going to be dedicated to helping the people who can’t help themselves and defending people who can’t defend themselves. I want my work to have real meaning, and I want my privileges to have been beneficial to more than just me.”