This holiday season we would like to try and raise funds for our sustainable plan initiatives which help the families and the projects by generating income – please see the link at the bottom of the page to find out more on our sustainable plans. By donating now we can start plans to sustain the children’s education, daily food and fruit, local teachers, school materials and much more, well into the future. Please help us avoid empty fruits baskets, broken pencils and deserted classrooms by donating and sharing this month, as you have donated before, and help us sustain their future for years to come.
In Honduras we have taken on four of our “colegio” students to help out across the 6 grades in primary school. As well as paying them a monthly stipend we will also be covering their University costs so that they become qualified teachers in the future. In 2015 we aim to increase this number to 6.
Independence Day was celebrated in style, with dancing, games, theatre and some good food, as well as marching through the communities. We also celebrated Day of the Child with similar aplomb!
A very sad way to celebrate our ten year anniversary working in Ecuador as Huayrapungo, Muenala and Larcacunga cease to function as schools with the government bidding to centralise education and populations. Our work in the communities continues however with transporting all the children daily to the centralised school and back, daily fruit, materials and more sustainable income plans in the communities to generate employment and ensure further education in the future. We also plan to keep on two of our local teachers to give reinforcement classes in the afternoons back in the communities. Happy Anniversary Ecuador!
September is the month of Independence Day in Nicaragua and our kids joined in the parade in Estelí as well as activities in the school. Apart from the national festivities classes with the pre-school continue as we approach the end of the academic year in November.
School continues at pace in Perú and we will soon be introducing after school reinforcement classes as well as sustainable plan workshops which will enable the older children and their families to learn new trades which they can then take on and create their own businesses. At the same time, we are planning to employ ex-students to come back in the afternoons to help out the children with their homework in exchange for us helping to cover some of their University costs.
In Guatemala, our school drumming band and the rest of the school took the streets of Itzapa and were loudly applauded everywhere they went. We also celebrated Day of the Child, with lots of piñatas, games dancing and food. Both schools have excelled so far this year with our fifteen local teachers (ex-students we now employ) and our addition of another local teaching, acting as a classroom assistant in Itzapa has improved ten children so that they now should pass their final exams later in the year.
Our water tank was finished in Santa María which will provide daily water in the school, as opposed to one a week for one hour. Further construction is due in Itzapa with building more latrines and a full paint-job for both schools is in the pipeline.
Finally, let’s not forget what The Phoenix Projects are all for in Latin America: 40 local teachers, the majority of whom were previous students, teaching almost 1000 children daily whilst receiving food across five countries benefiting seven communities (fifteen if you include the communities our students come from in Honduras for our colegio)...all for under $200,000 a year - every penny and cent counts - thank you to everyone who makes this possible year after year.
Our local teachers we employ continue to provide education to almost 1000 children across Latin America. It is such a thrill taking on new teachers who used to be our own students, closing the circle! The exam results this year have been exceptional, proving once again that indigenous children react better to indigenous teachers, rather than employing teachers who so not comprehend the hardships of life these children live, having never been through this themselves.
This year and next year, we do intend to increase the number of local teachers we employ so thank you for your support in the past and thankyou in advance for your donations in the future, to help us make this all happen!
We have launched our Gift For Good, where for a donation of just $35 you will receive a hand-made fabric purse and also feed one child for the rest of the school year, definitely the perfect Gift For Good! Please follow this link or the link at the bottom of this report to make a difference.
A fantastic few months in Itzapa and Santa María in Guatemala. Excellent results in our first set of exams with our ten 14 local teachers shining in their education roles. Semana Santa (Easter) was celebrated with our own procession to keep up tradition, being open to all. Construction in Santa María continues at pace and should be finished in the next month. Plan Moo was officially started with the purchase of our first cows, and one has already given birth to a beautiful female calf, to ensure progression and sustainability. Plan Moo involves families receiving a cow and the income from the sales of milk are shared between the family and the school's runing costs.
Amazing results for the school in San Rafael, Honduras. In late 2013, the Government ran tests nationally and our school, with averages in the high 80's and 90's beat the average (50s and 60s). And this year is no different with the children showing great progress. Our secondary school continues to cover 6 grades from teenagers from 9 different communities and we have introduced music classes. Thanks to donations, we could print out the exam papers for the whole school for the rest of the year, otherwise they wouldn't have been tested. Father's Day was celebrated with much fun and games and the daily food and fruit program continues.
It has been a brilliant few months in Nicaragua, celebrating our 6th Anniversary in La Thompson in April, with typical dress, a dance-off, a historical tour or our project and dancing into the night to include the whole community. Relaxation techniques have been bought into the curriculm, with some fantastic results. The educational work with all the children has been impressive with advances made in math and language. We have taken in children with special needs aswell and they have adapted well into the school environment.
In Perú, It has been a very productive first month of the school year in Maldonado with our paid-teacher Ediluz working well with three grades, without her the school would be a very difficult place to learn! We aim to start sustainable-income Plan Cuy (guinea pigs) in the houses of our children in the school, to benefit both them and our running costs in Maldonado. The sales of the guinea pigs, which reproduce very quickly, will not only provide a very useful income for the families though will also cover costs in the school, moving further towards sustainability.
School is back underway in Ecuador after the mid-year break (classes started in September 2013) and immediately exams are on the horizon! Daily hot food is still handed out to the children and we continue to cover the transport costs of two familes' children to attend school - an hour each way - as well as the transport of the local teachers. Our four teachers we pay for continue to shine, especially in Larcacunga, where the government removed one of their two teachers, leaving a gaping whole which she quickly filled to continue the children's education. Community meetings have been held in Muenala to discuss the implentation of the next stage of Plan Moo to sustainably cover some school costs in the future.
As we swiftly move into February all our projects are now back up and running after the holidays and we can eagerly look ahead to providing yet more education, employment and daily food and fruit to almost 1000 children across Latin America.
We currently employ over 30 local teachers in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Perú and we plan to increase this number and supplement the food program, as well as providing better and more educational materials that will improve further the level of education we can provide.
It is thanks and testimony of your support during these past years, and years to come, that we can continue the projects, getting better each year and providing an education for these communities that had little chance or opportunity.
In 2014, we will be holding three charity challenges in Guatemala as well, so if you fancy heading down, seeing the projects and raising funds by challenging yourself, please see our website on http://www.thephoenixprojects.org/donate-now/challenges/
Thank you for your continued support during 2014!
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