A Month With Mosea
By Robert Kee, Founder of Operation Hope Foundation
I sponsored Mosea who is 12 years old and is one of our children in Hope Village Prey Veng to live with me for a month. We arranged for him to have lessons in English, piano, swimming, table tennis, roller blading, archery, music, pottery, Lego Robotics and a three day Coding Camp to learn the Scratch programming language.
Objective is to expose Mosea to a wide variety of skills and learn from such exposure. I learned that he enjoyed all the lessons because he finds them interesting. A key lesson Mosea learned was that with proper instructions he could do things better. For example, he asked me why he has to learn swimming since he already knows how to swim. After a few lessons he learned to swim free style and understood that the proper style enable him to swim faster.
It was the same with table tennis. He said he knows how to play which means just hitting the ping pong. He learned the right strokes and is now keen to go back to Cambodia and play with the other children and see if he can beat them. Hopefully these will translate into a permanent desire to learn. Anyone who has a desire to keep learning will be successful.
On the first day of the roller blade lesson, his body ached all over from his falls and more from him trying not to fall and stiffening his body. I could see on his eyes he wanted to give up. “It is too hard”, he said. The second lesson he was able to move and looked forward to the next lesson. By the third lesson he was proud that he was able to roller blade.
He learned the lesson that if he perseveres, he will enjoy his new-found skills, and that the more difficult it is, the greater his Enjoyments when he learned those skills. This is very important as perseverance is one of the key to success.
In archery, he finds that it is easy to shoot an arrow but not easy to hit the bull’s eye. He learned that it takes much practice to be able to consistently hit the bull’s eye. To excel in a skill is not the same as just learning the basics. I impressed on him that talent is not instant skills but skills honed through hours of training and practice.
After one piano lesson, he downloaded Justin Bieber’s song and tried to play it. He could not as he had to learn to play Jingle Bells first. Again this taught him that skills are not easily acquired and practice is important. How many children gave up on their dreams because they had expected easy and quick success? They had no one to explain the need for practice and perseverance.
Someone asked me what expectations I have for Mosea after this one month. My reply is that I have no expectations but hope that the experience will be transformational and beneficial.
I hope in future we can find donors willing to pay for qualified instructors to go to Hope Village and teach the children a range of skills from sports to arts and music.
Perhaps a donor can donate six roller blades with knee and elbow protection and pay for an instructor to teach for a week.
Or a donor can sponsor a piano teacher to teach the kids for a week and hopefully we can get a dozen donated keyboards.
We have a table tennis table and it would be fantastic if a table tennis coach can teach them for a week or two.