Online Teachers Making An Impact: Live Lingua Tutors Helping Refugees Learn English

In the teaching world, there are ample opportunities for a professional to use their passion and skillset for the greater human good. Teacher Indie wishes to highlight exemplary cases of generosity with our new series, Online Teachers Making An Impact.

Today, we’re highlighting an extraordinary partnership between online language school Live Lingua and a website called My Mustaqbal. The website aims to help refugees around the globe expand their education and career opportunities. Live Lingua is generously providing online English teachers to work directly with refugees via Skype, in order to help them learn and improve English skills.

As a result, the refugees increase their competitive odds in the career and educational marketplaces.

We’ve spoken with the founder of My Mustaqbal, Saraphin Dhanani, about the organization and its mission. Below we’ve also included links and contact information for both the website and Live Lingua. The organization is accepting volunteers who can help with a variety of causes. We encourage our readers to visit the website for more information.

Teacher Indie: How many are currently seeking English instruction in your organization?

SD: Currently, our organization is working with a small community of refugees in Istanbul, Turkey. Within that community, there are currently four people receiving English language tutoring (3 of them are being tutored from Live Lingua volunteers). We’ve had seven people receive English language tutoring in the past, but many private instructors had very poor follow-through with their commitment.

As we launch our new website, My Mustaqbal (mymustaqbal.com), we are expanding our scope to include beneficiaries from across the globe, and so, we are really looking for committed English language instructors who can help beneficiaries prepare for their TOEFL/IELTS exam.

TI: What is the best way to get ahold of your organization for teachers interested in volunteering?

SD: The best way to register to volunteer is signing up on our website: mymustaqbal.com. There are also opportunities to volunteer as a University Application Mentor, where volunteers guide beneficiaries through the university application process, as well as, Interview Preparation Mentor, where volunteers conduct mock interviews to help beneficiaries prepare for their upcoming university/scholarship interviews. 

TI: What other opportunities beyond language learning are you currently focused on? Are there other organizations doing similar work?

SD: I don’t know of any organizations doing similar work, but there are organizations that are attempting to provide refugees with various other opportunities, be it employment training or language training to help refugees integrate into their host countries. 

My Mustaqbal is not limited to English language instruction, but it is also committed to helping beneficiaries start a new life. Many refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria are educated and competent.

However, upon leaving their home country, their BA, MA, and PhD degrees are not recognized in their host countries, and so, instead of working in their trained professions, they are forced to work 12-hour shifts at factories with little to no pay.

Further, because international humanitarian aid is skewed to help women and children, young males, ages 18-35, who are the primary breadwinners of their family, are particularly neglected by NGOs, forced to work under harsh conditions, and susceptible to disenfranchisement from society. A new life starts with education. My Mustaqbal is committed to guiding beneficiaries through the university application process, with the English language component being one of several criterions that must be fulfilled in order to have a competitive university application. If you go to our website, you can read Our Story under the About tab to learn more.

Ray is the founder and creator of Teacher Indie. He is an award-winning entrepreneur who has created online education businesses that have appeared in publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Boston Globe and many others. His goal is to help teachers from around the world get online and gain the financial independence they deserve.

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