We hope this message finds you well and that you are handling these uncertain times as good as possible.
From Hogar de Cristo we wanted to let you know our current situation of our organization in Chile and how we have been carrying out our project focused on young students.
As you may already know, in Chile, more than 200,000 children and young people are outside the educational system. With the current health crisis this number will surely increase. Education became much more complex than usual. Many young people were already being excluded from the system but the pandemic has widened the educational, economic, and social gaps.
Face-to-face education in Chile is still not a reality due to the pandemic and in fact the country is in a new wave, with many communities in new quarantines.
Our students have needed more emotional support than ever. They have shown how much they miss the protective space of the school and we have responded with constant monitoring online, giving distance classes through our Virtual Learning Classrooms and creating new workshops to motivate them and continue teaching. We never lost contact with them. We made a diagnosis and found them with many uncertainties, anxiety and demotivation. There were many who said: "I'm locked up, they won't let me out." It happened that they began to miss the classroom, the school, the classmates, the teachers. Before the pandemic, everyone wanted to be out of school, they did not like the norms very much, the rules, but this crisis came to show that education, educational establishments, are a very important linking element in them. When one hears as a cliché that the school is the second family, it became real because that is where young people receive a lot of support; there were links that they began to miss.
In this time of pandemic, we discovered that we could not deliver certainty to young people or their families. We couldn't tell him this was going to end tomorrow, because no one knew anything anyway. And here we adopt a phrase: "The opposite of uncertainty is not certainty, but it is the community, it is living it together." That was a super important discovery because at the youth and team level we concluded by doing group activities that are not only to know how they are or what they need, but so that they could collaborate mutually, get to know each other and accompany each other. Young people have given us a lot and made us understand and learn about resilience. When everything seemed lost, with an uncertainty that at the beginning was very powerful and we figuring out what we could do from our computers, which seemed impossible, we began to see that we could overcome this uncertainty together. It was an invitation to be united, there was no reason to be alone.
Virtual Learning Classrooms and online workshops and are now a successful reality. Young people are super grateful, they perceive us as a recess from everything bad. For them it is a moment of relaxation, a space for personal and group care. We work with a wide variety of topics, topics that they themselves raised with their tutors that we later transformed into new workshops.
We have been able to achieve this transformation because of your support. Your contribution has meant being able to continue providing quality education to thousands of young people throughout the country. We really thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help that is giving hope and a future to so many young people.