Throughout the majority of schools in South America, fostering creativity in students is either not present in, or not a priority of the curriculum. If you walk into a normal classroom, you will see students doing a lot of copying off of the blackboard. When these same students are asked to write a story about a cat named Jinx, they stare at you blankly, because they have not been trained to work the right side of their brains. We have been working in local schools in Peru for the last 6 years, sending volunteers into the classrooms to support the local teachers.
In order to get out of the cycle of abject poverty in these towns, the team in Peru believes that the children need to be trained to think independently. As Walter Lippman once said, “When all think alike, then no one is thinking!” With this in mind, the staff and volunteers at GVI Phoenix Peru took it upon themselves to start introducing the concepts of creativity and imagination to the classroom. This has been a multi-pronged venture. First, they redesigned the gym and art curriculum for all six grades of primary school. In this new curriculum, the children now have weeks of theatre lessons, weeks of dance lessons, and more challenging art projects. Next, the team in Peru took it upon themselves to change the environment that the children are working in to make it more conducive to new ideas and sparks of imagination. In March, the volunteers finished painting the entire Inicial (elementary) classroom with fanciful birds, unicorns, lizards, and other mythical creatures, and the kids can’t get enough. The team also started reading time with the children, and will read one page of a story book, and then have the children create the ending for the story. It’s a fantastic exercise for them to learn how to think independently.
The local teachers in Arequipa are overwhelmed with high numbers of students and extremely low resources. Being able to support them in this way has been an incredible experience for. The teachers themselves have now started incorporating some of these imaginative techniques into their daily teaching, which is fantastic news, because it means this program is gaining a level of sustainability, which is the ultimate goal.
Later on this March, a group of challengers will be taking part in a two-day charity challenge to raise funds for our projects, which are situated on the outskirts of Arequipa, Peru.
Unusually heavy rains devastated many families in the area, which are home to many of the children where we work, providing free education. Under normal circumstances these families would not be able to afford this education for their children.
The aim of this challenge is to enable us to put funds together to assist families whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed at the beginning of the year.
We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.
We are delighted to share that this has been by far our most successful period, raising in six months nearly as much as we did the whole of the previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.
During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America including support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now realise their goal of seeing impoverished students through to completion of the primary education earning recognised qualifications for the first time.
These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.
At the end of 2011 we celebrated the anniversaries of our schools in the Phoenix project in Peru in both communities Maldonado and Triunfo. We have been working in the schools since 2006. It's such a treat to be able to see the parents, teachers, volunteers, and kids all come together in celebration of the great work these schools are doing.
Maldonado was practically bouncing on its foundations from all of the dancing the kids were doing...not to mention the free for all scramble when candy came showering down on them from teachers and volunteers alike! Triunfo was covered wall to wall in streamers, balloons, and glittery posters! The kids from Triunfo put on a choreographed traditional dance that was the absolute highlight of the party.
Congratulations to everyone at both schools and everyone who has supported us along the way to make this possible.
Thanks to funds raised for this project, we are able to keep traditions alive in our communities, by paying for traditional dance costumes and transport so the children can partake in dance competitions, growing in self-esteem and keep tradition strong. For the past month selected kids have been spending every spare moment practicing dancing, even during recreo! What for? This Sunday both schools, Truinfo and Maldonado, participated in a dance competition! Maldonado (wearing the red outfits) was first of the two schools to take the stage and did an exceptional job dancing a traditional dance from Cusco.
Theirs was the most complicated choreographed we had seen yet that day! Triunfo shortly followed and did an equally fantastic job with Erica, one of our second graders, participating as well. The kids from both schools were nothing but smiles, and sweat, after being able to show off their hard work and awesome dance moves. We are also so proud to say that Triunfo won 2nd place!!
What does this mean? That they had to keep on dancing. The following Monday, October 31, the kids once again put on the traditional dress and danced their hearts out in hopes of winning the competition. Stay tuned for the results!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.