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Aug 4, 2020

Our second COVID-19 relief distributions!

Handing out distributions at the Cojolya office
Handing out distributions at the Cojolya office

In Santiago Atitlán many families live day-to-day, and most of our people dedicate themselves to commerce, be it products from their land, shop, or handicrafts. Now that we do not have the visits of tourists, all the local stores are closed, and many people have not been able to leave town to work in the city or in other departments due to government restrictions. The economy has been gravely affected. In this time of COIVD-19 many people do not have a job and many times they struggle to get food for their families of each day. That is why Cojolya has taken the initiative to ask generous people for their donations so that we can support the neediest in our community. 

This week, we delivered our second round of packets of groceries to families around the town. The food packages included corn, as it is our everyday staple and a portion of primary food for indigenous people. It also included beans and sugar, so that the needy people and their families can go to bed on a full stomach.

It is satisfying to see people happy to receive a bag of food, knowing that with this they would feed their children in a time of crisis. 

On behalf of the people who received this support, we want to say a huge thank you to our donor base! Each donation makes these sorts of distributions possible for our team and they go directly to the local community needs!

 

In other news, recently, it was also possible to visit the children that ordinarily benefit from our Mano a Mano para el Desarrollo program at their homes to deliver new reading and writing brochures, as well as a basket with cookies and sweets, since due to the current situation parents do not have any money to buy any sweet or chocolate for children.

For this reason, we wanted to share with the children this small gift to be able to cheer them up a little these days since they stay at home helping their parents with the housework and solving the reading and writing exercises that the program sends them every fifteen days. It was a small treat for a continued couple of months without seeing friends or being in school! 

 

With donations from kind-hearted people, the weavers are finding work to financially support their families during these critical times, which we, like many around the world, have been hit hard by the economic and social restrictions. We cannot thank you enough for helping to make this possible! Your donations are essential in providing much-needed relief during this moment of crisis. 

Chonita signing in people for their food packages
Chonita signing in people for their food packages
Happy to get a basket full of goodies!
Happy to get a basket full of goodies!
Some homework for our Mano a Mano students
Some homework for our Mano a Mano students
Homework is always done better with sweets
Homework is always done better with sweets

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Jun 27, 2020

Support for students during Covid 19

Some work books for our students
Some work books for our students

The Mano a Mano para el Desarrollo program is preparing new booklets for reading comprehension, so that students can acquire new knowledge while at home with their families.

Most of the students turned in the reading brochures they worked on this week. It is up to them to do new exercises to keep them learning and make sure they do not fall behind in school, even as classes have been cancelled for more than 3 months. 

The Mano a Mano program, in addition to providing reading exercises to our students, has also facilitated the use of a laptop for José Miguel who is a fourth-year student. He is currently receiving his school assignments through emails so the Mano a Mano program loaned him a laptop so that he can perform his tasks without problems.

Faced with this crisis, José Miguel continues to study the respective content for his academic training so he won’t fall beyond. This is not the case for every student. Lack of internet access and home computers mean that online learning is impossible for many students. Also, a lack of education on the part of parents means that they cannot always help their children with schoolwork. This is why we have tried to work hard to be sure that these barriers do not keep students from reaching their full potential and adapting to at-home school is one of the many challenges Coronavirus has brought. Thankfully with computers for loan and booklets that we have created, we can do a small part in continuing the education of the next generation while on lockdown.

Working online with a loaned computer!
Working online with a loaned computer!
May 12, 2020

Learning to read with your older brother

Israel helping Damaris with her work
Israel helping Damaris with her work

Our Mano a Mano por el Desarollo project is doing everything possible to reach out to students in these times of crisis since they are no longer going to school. Teaching and learning have been hugely affected these past several weeks. For this reason, the program is doing its best to send learning activity materials that students can do from home.

Damaris is a 7-year-old girl in first grade. At the beginning of the year, she was excited because she was going to learn to read and write. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting closing of schools has interrupted Damaris’s learning. Going to school is the only avenue of learning literacy for many students, especially because their parents cannot read or write. Further, there are few technological resources available out of school, including access to computers, or even books, which makes it difficult for students to continue their learning. This crisis has highlighted the difficulties in providing a stable education, as well as the importance of literacy programs and education support. 

With the learning materials that Mano a Mano, and our teacher Chonita, send to the students, Damaris is learning how to read and write from home. Israel, her older brother is helping her to recognize the sounds and letters of the alphabet. With Israel’s help, Damaris is making progress in her learning. Sending learning materials and homework to students is the most effective way the program has found in maintaining our students' progress. It often keeps them from getting bored at home and offers a familiar routine. Despite the critical situation the world is in at the moment, we must offer some educational support for the generation of the future. 

Damaris coloring and learning the letters
Damaris coloring and learning the letters
Israel and Damaris working on their assignments
Israel and Damaris working on their assignments

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