Dec 18, 2017

Fernanda Flourishes

Fernanda and her Catrina
Fernanda and her Catrina

Being an enthusiastic and energetic high school student at Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende, Fernanda focuses most of her time on academic studies. However, several times each week, in the afternoons after class, she loves to participate in the school's sewing workshop. It is there that her passion for art, design and creating beautiful things comes to the forefront.

Fernanda, profoundly deaf, dreams of a career in fashion design. To help express and record her designs Fernanda keeps a journal with sketches of her latest ideas. True to her Mexican roots, one of her recent sketches was of a "Catrina" dressed Frida Kahlo style. (Catrinas we should explain are figures of a woman skeleton usually dressed in Victorian style garb with a large plumed hat. They are prevalent at the Day of the Dead celebrations held in Mexico during early November and have come to symbolize the event).

From this sketch Fernanda created her Catrina from paper mache complete with hand embroidered blouse and hand painted skirt. Through an interpreter Fernanda explained, "I am so happy to win first prize in the school competition! It feels wonderful to be first!" Later Fernanda's masterpiece was purchased by an avid school supporter and a collector of Catrinas. You can only imagine the pride and satisfaction that this recognition gave to Fernanda! 

To add to this achievement, last week the school held its 2nd Annual Christmas Craft Fair to showcase and sell the many wonderful products made by all of the older students in the caprentry, jewelery making and sewing workshops. Fernanda joined her fellow students in creating many beautiful Christmas pillows, table runners, cross stitched bags, and young children's dresses. During the event we heard many shoppers comment on how the quality of the this year's items have reached new levels of professionalism. We know Fernanda, along with her fellow student sewers, are encouraged by these votes of confidence. Fernanda ardently contends that she will continue to pursue her dream of a career in fashion design. There is nothing, especially not even her own deafness, that will hold her back! And the teachers and volunteers at Escuela de Educación Especial will be there to guide and encourage her, and others, along their way.

Our sincere thank you to all our Global Giving supporters! Your donation helps provide an education to the deaf and hard of hearing children and young people of San Miguel de Allende which will enable them to become literate, independent and productive citizens who set and achieve life goals. We wish you Happy Holidays!

Juanita with handmade cushions
Juanita with handmade cushions

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Sep 21, 2017

A New School Year Begins

End of School Celebration
End of School Celebration

The students have recently returned after the summer break and school has begun it's sixth year of providing a quality education to children and young people who just happen to be deaf.

Academic Programs Expand 

During the past year, in addition to our regular pre-school, primary and middle school programs, EEE began offering high school on-line programs to five students who had recently graduated from middle school. We are happy to let you know that they have each completed 8 of the 23 modules required. 

Although the students still have a way to go, we are very proud of the hard work they have put toward achieving their goal of receiving their high school diploma. 

Please click onto the link to see some neat photos of our Graduation Event in July 2017. We hope that they make you smile! 

Graduation Photos

Vocational Training Flourishes 

In addition, and as you already know, the school has been developing after-school Vocational Training Programs offering job skills training for the older students. During the last term for example, there were 13 students enrolled in sewing, carpentry and jewelry making workshops. The students in the sewing program have advanced to making some wonderful clothing items including special dresses contracted by a local preschool for their graduation. Not to be outdone, the young men in the carpentry workshop have advanced to constructing furniture items for the families served by another local NGO, Casita Linda.  

These programs are made possible by dedicated instructors and volunteers. 

Your Help Is Important

As you can see, there has been much accomplished. But there also remains much yet to do. The school continues to operate solely through the generosity of people just like you. We are hoping that you will continue to partner with EEE as we go forward into the 2017/2018 school year. 

 

Dresses Handmade by Students
Dresses Handmade by Students
Little Ones Continue to Advance
Little Ones Continue to Advance

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Jun 28, 2017

Sister Deborah Arrives to Lead New Cross Stitch Programme

With high energy and enthusiasm Sister Deborah came to Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende, somewhat like an angel appearing out of the blue, offering to volunteer in the Sewing Workshop which forms part of the school's Vocational Training Program. Although Sister Deborah lives and works in Queretaro, travelling a one hour's distance by bus every Friday to and from San Miguel would never discourage this resourceful and determined woman. She had previously lead exactly this type of program with a group of indigenous women in Queretaro, teaching them to make a very saleable product and thus earn an income allowing their young children to attend public school; learning in school was a vast improvement from having them sell trinkets on the street! Sister Deborah knew this initiative would transfer well to the school's ambition of teaching marketable skills to the bright students of EEE who only happened to be Deaf. True to the addage "Give a person a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a person to fish and you feed him for a lifetime". These are the same principles followed at EEE and so a partnership and a bond with Sister Deborah was formed in no time. 

Quickly the teachers, volunteers and students of the sewing workshop were engaged and eager to learn this new skill. Intricate and colorful borders for hand towels, note cards, bags, money pouches and many other beautiful creations were soon being lovingly created by the students for sale in the upcoming Spring Bazaar.

During this same time it came to light that, Mathilde, mother of one of the school's primary level students, Miguelito aged 7 years, had excellent skills in hand sewing and embroidery. Mathilde and her family were stuggling to make ends meet financially. Mathilde, resourceful and hard working was part of an embroidery cooperative in her small community which helped to generate a little income for her family. Sister Deborah thought it would be a great idea to train Mathilde as an instructor in the cross stitch program so that she could spend a few hours each day, while her son attended school, helping the students hoan their new skills. It was a win-win for all concerned! 

Sales of cross stitich items at the Spring Bazaar in March were brisk and there was a great feeling of pride and accomplishment felt by all involved; those students who learned something new, the teachers and volunteers, including Sister Deborah who had the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise, and especially for Mathilde who became a proud and welcomed addition to the Sewing Workshop at EEE!

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