As part of the Primary Education Enrichment program, Fabretto reaches out to parents of students to involve them in their children's education. Most children in rural communities have little to no support from home. Many parents are illiterate or only had few years of education themselves, or they lack time and motivation to get involved.
One of the goals of Fabretto’s education and community program is to make parents an essential part of school activities and guide them to support children from home. Over 1,000 parents volunteer regularly to support Fabretto's education and nutrition programs, including cooking school lunches, maintaining school infrastructure, and attending workshops on health and nutrition.
Juana*, a mother of two, is one parent volunteer who lives in a rural community in northern Nicaragua. Her story is a testimony to the impact of parent involvement.
Like most homes in her rural community, Juana's house is a small adobe structure with no electricity. She and her children live about 10 miles from the nearest town, Cusmapa, in Northern Nicaragua. But Juana has made her home a special place: a home in which education comes first.
For the past several years, Juana has participated in Fabretto's workshops and training programs. With this knowledge, she has gone above and beyond to help her 6-year-old son, Melvin, succeed. Before he was even old enough to enroll in preschool, Juana used techniques from Fabretto Montessori Methodology training to teach Melvin the vowels and other basic concepts. She beamed as she stated that her son learned to read in just three months. She even created an “enrichment corner” in her home with simple, homemade educational resources for her children.
The road to education isn't easy in rural Nicaragua. This year, Melvin began to attend 1st grade, and to reach the nearest public school, he must walk over an hour on unpaved roads and across several creeks (which often flood in the rainy season). The good news is that Fabretto's programs ensure that Melvin will learn with trained teachers and receive basic school supplies as well as a daily school lunch, thanks to generous donations from supporters around the world.
Juana continues to support her son from home and to volunteer with Fabretto. She proudly shares her son's accomplishments, which include winning a local reading competition. While Melvin was thrilled to win the small prize (candy and new notebooks), the greatest prize was for his mother, who saw how her efforts are paying off.
Juana's story shows the true meaning of the Fabretto community - working together to help children reach a better future.
*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of our beneficiaries.
Our education program's goal is to help children in Nicaragua learn, succeed, and reach a better future for themselves and their communities. Alleviating child hunger is an essential part of achieving this mission, and each day, we serve thousands of meals to children around the country.
Meet 9-year-old Elena and Karla, twin sisters who live in the trash dump community, La Cruz, in Nicaragua.* In their community, most families live in houses made of corrugated metal and plastic or of old wooden boards. Their homes have dirt floors and no running water or inside toilet. Families survive by collecting recyclables in the dump, earning just a dollar or two a day – leaving little to pay for a full meal each day, not to mention school supplies.
The twins have been benefiting from Fabretto’s nutritious school lunches since 2010, before there was even a school building in the dump. In those days, the lunches were served at desks outside. The La Cruz school was constructed by Fabretto and buildOn in 2011, with generous support from GlobalGiving users during our past fundraiser. Since then, many service groups and volunteers have helped Fabretto construct a kitchen, garden, a swing set, and a well for the school.
Once the school was built, Elena and Karla were able to begin their education. School lunch is essential to their success; the meal helps them focus on learning, rather than their worrying about their next meal. Too often, school lunch is the only meal they eat each day. That's why Fabretto designs meals that are fortified with the vitamins and minerals that growing children need and fulfill 60% of each child's recommended daily caloric intake.
Malnourishment causes students learn at a slower pace, struggle to pay attention, and have trouble remembering what they've learned. Fabretto's lunches enable students to do their best in school, and Anita, the mother of the twins, says she has seen a change: "They have improved a lot now that they're eating more, and they can read now."
A typical Fabretto school lunch includes fortified rice and soy, beans, tortillas, juice, and sometimes meat or dairy products, plus fruits and vegetables grown in the garden. Mothers from the community volunteer to cook lunch for the students. Through the school kitchen, Anita has become involved in her daughters’ education. She volunteers regularly and ensures that the twins attend school each day.
With Fabretto school lunches and primary education close to their home, Elena and Karla are moving toward a better future.
Thank you for your support in 2014!
The Rural Secondary Education project in Nicaragua continues to provide youth in over 30 rural communities with access to quality secondary education. Most are the first in their families to continue their education beyond the sixth grade. This school year, we've seen our students improve academically and apply their skills to the rural environment. Many of these students have involved their families in agricultural projects and small businesses that benefit the whole community.
In the program, one of the highlights of the second year of study is the "Chicken Project." Students and teachers raised a group of chickens and learn about the agricultural cycle hands-on. As they build the coop, care for the eggs, and feed the chickens as they grow, the students apply the lessons they've learned in mathematics and science classes - calculating percentages, comparing weights, keeping track of costs, and more.
At the end of the Chicken Project, the students understand not only their science and math lessons, but also have developed skills on the basics of raising chickens - an excellent source of eggs and protein in rural Nicaragua. For example, one young student, pictured with her grandmother, has taken the lesson and replicated it at her home. Using the skills she developed through the project, she has proudly shown her family the best way to care for the chickens and their investment has paid off. Now, her family supplements their typical meals of rice and beans with protein-rich foods, improving the family diet.
This is the essence of Fabretto's program - providing access to education that is truly meaningful and relevant for students in rural Nicaraguan communities. We're proud to see that their effort is truly paying off, and more graduates are becoming influential leaders who drive rural development forward in their communities.
Our rural education program has been steadily expanding and next year Fabretto hopes to reach more communities. We hope you will stay informed and involved by following our blog on our website, www.fabretto.org. Thank you for your support!