Jun 16, 2021

Guara-Guara's Child Friendly Space

Over 2,500 families are creating a new home in Guara-Guara, Mozambique after being displaced in January when Cyclone Eloise destroyed thousands of buildings and livelihoods. IsraAID Mozambique opened a new Child Friendly Space in Guara-Guara where activities include dancing and art to help children process their trauma.

"We suffered a lot from the cyclones and floods when we left Buzi. We were rescued by boat to the high school of Guara-Guara where we were resettled. We are receiving help from the government with food up to today. We lost almost everything. Being a volunteer facilitator with IsraAID is important for me because, after everything that happened, we can still bring joy to the children. Wherever I go the children call me: “Look, the auntie from our little school” and it makes me very happy." - Sonia, a volunteer at our CFS in Mozambique.

Luisa currently lives in Guara-Guara, after her house in Buzi village was destroyed by flooding and the cyclone. "I took refuge in a neighbor's house. The next day everything was flooded. We left by boat to Guara-Guara. Life is difficult. When the coronavirus arrived we felt safer in our own homes. Now that we are here it is different. Although we are wearing masks and washing our hands, there are 10 families in a tent."


Hear their stories in our video.

Jun 15, 2021

Work Online Dominica's Second Round

Last week, IsraAID Dominica, the Ministry of Public Works and the Digital Economy, and UNDP launched the second Work Online Dominica program. We welcomed a new cohort of 60 people who will be part of our 12-week course on how to get started working online, find new sources of income, and increase financial stability. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how accessible the global economy can be, from anywhere in the world. 2020 increased the capabilities of many companies to hire and manage a remote workforce, opening job opportunities to people from different continents. With the right skills and training, some of the world's largest tech companies are accessible from the comfort of people's own homes. In a year that saw many people without a job, through our first round of Work Online Dominica, 55 young Dominicans found employment as freelancers or permanent staff with companies all over the world. 

Hear from Emily, a participant of our first round of Work Online Dominica:

"Work Online Dominica presents you with the master class of how to get started working online. Making available 12 comprehensive training modules, weekly group sessions, access to free skills training to help you build new skills or strengthen those you already have, and one-on-one coaching to tackle your personal challenges and polish your application, all with an exclusive community of like-minded individuals. You cannot get that level of value anywhere else. The trainers are truly experts when it comes to working online as freelancers or remote employees. I’ve always dreamt of working online, with the flexibility of choosing my working hours from the comfort of my own home. For over 10 months I’ve been employed by a US company. Working online takes discipline. You have to be self-motivated and confident. My experience is not unique, it resonates with every Work Online Dominica participant."

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Jun 15, 2021

Is learning mathematics a privilege? Unfortunately, yes.

In the aftermath of a disaster, a school is often anything but a place for education. It can be a shelter, a food distribution center, or a meeting place for humanitarian actors and community organizations, leaving the typical users of the building – the students – without a place to learn. Children affected by emergencies experience a rapid change in circumstances which can lead to long-term trauma. They may have been displaced, lost family members, or their parents may have been left without a source of income. And on top of that, now their daily routine at school is disrupted.

For refugees in Greece, education is more than learning skills for the future. It’s about integrating into society, now. Many children from refugee communities are registered in the public education system, but despite this, they are often not familiar with basic math concepts or even numbers. One significant factor is the type of classes they attend. Refugee and migrant children are sent to integration classes specific to their needs, aimed to rapidly teach Greek. But this means they’re missing out on other subjects. With extensive bureaucratic requirements, mixed migrant children in Colombia, many of whom arrived in the country recently from Venezuela, are left in a similar situation, often excluded from the mainstream system without much investment in their talents.

How can refugee and migrant children fully integrate without something as simple as good math education?

Over the last six months, IsraAID has been partnering with an Israeli start-up company, Imagine Machine, which developed Mathika, an online mathematics application to help children self-teach. Mathika is part of IsraAID’s joint pilot fund with the Pears Program for Global Innovation. It allows a teacher to track where they are and offer support, while also encouraging the child to move at their own pace, thereby reinforcing lessons that perhaps were lost. Through this program, our teams in Colombia and in Greece were able to boost children’s skills in this critically important subject.

Mathematics shouldn’t be a privilege, but a right.

IsraAID Greece’s integration program involves much more than the Greek language. It addresses the gap between refugee and migrant communities and the local Greek community, the team’s biggest concern being the integration of children as equal members of society. Improving the math knowledge of refugee and migrant children, the Mathika pilot program felt like a gift to these children, another tool to help achieve integration.

Under-educating the children of today is failing to prepare the leaders of tomorrow. The best investment a country can make in its future is in the education for all its inhabitants, but without appropriate skills and training, displaced communities like those in Greece and Colombia are more likely to get stuck in the poverty cycle. Just being told that they can learn and knowing they have the option to challenge themselves can significantly boost children’s self-esteem. IsraAID’s educational frameworks around the globe seek to combat this issue, offering innovative solutions like Mathika.

 
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