Changing lives one child at a time

Greenspring resident finds calling in a one-room school in Africa

Earlier this year, Elaine Bausch packed her bags and headed to Mtaya, a remote village in Zambia. A retired teacher and coordinator of the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program for Fairfax County Public Schools Adult and Community Education Program, Elaine had no idea what awaited her.

"I wondered whether I would make a difference in these people's lives," she says. "I really wanted to be helpful to the teachers."

In Mtaya, Elaine taught numbers to three through five year-old children in the mornings and English to six through eight year-old children in the afternoon. In addition to her teaching duties, she instructed volunteer teachers who would continue Elaine's work once she left the village.

"I found these hardworking people to be dedicated, enthusiastic and grateful for anything we could share with them," she says.

Back home at Greenspring, Elaine continues her support for the people that changed her life. Currently, fundraising efforts are underway to build living quarters for three teachers in the village and establish Mtaya as a healthy, educated and self-sufficient model for other African villages.

For Elaine, it was an experience she'll never forget. "I have been a teacher all my life and I believe this is the most exciting teaching experience I have ever had."

Elaine Bausch