Child learning from home with the help of his mom.
We truly could never have imagined the challenges that we’ve faced over the past three years, and since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in-country in late March, Fabretto has been engaged in a process of constant reinvention and reimagination of what education can look like in Nicaragua during this crisis.
We work in some of the most vulnerable communities across the country, in rural, semi-rural and urban settings. Many have very limited internet access, and some even lack reliable phone service, running water and electricity. After a rapid diagnostic process of conditions for distance learning, our team began to shift to remote work and limited activities in the centers. By May, all of our programs had been converted to distance learning. Although our centers have been physically closed, our education programs for children and youth have continued through innovative and creative approaches, leveraging the digital resources available and lower-tech solutions such as printed materials and radio where necessary.
Despite these challenges, we have seen incredible opportunities emerge.
We have connected over 900 teachers to training in technology and innovation. We have seen teachers motivated to integrate technology in their classes, using tools like Google Classroom, creative communication through social networks, filming videos and developing other original resources for their students.
We see parents supporting learning from home, using their creativity to enhance the activities that teachers send through digital platforms or as printed study guides.
We have seen students go the distance to continue their education - I was personally moved by the stories of youth in our SAT rural education program on the Atlantic Coast, who live in extremely remote communities with limited phone service and electricity. We were able to provide the students with most economic need with tablets and mini-solar panels to connect. Some walk miles just to reach the closest spot to connect to mobile data, download information, and communicate with their teachers and classmates. The dedication of the entire educational community - students, families, teachers, staff - has been incredible to witness.
To date, we have distributed over 6,000 kits of food provisions and hygiene supplies, such as masks, soap, and cleaning solutions, to families in need. As members of the local NicaSalud network, we have also worked to promote a campaign that provides communities with the information they need to protect themselves from the virus, promoting handwashing and good hygiene practices through virtual training sessions, brochures, and messaging to parents and teachers.
These are just a few examples of the ways that we have continued to serve communities in Nicaragua in 2020. Partnerships are more important than ever, and we are grateful for you and the many friends of Fabretto who have connected with us and supported our work this year.
It has been almost three months since Nicaragua reported its first instance of COVID-19 and as cases here continue to rise, la familia Fabretto remains committed to working together to find innovative ways to serve some of the most impoverished communities of Nicaragua.
In order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our students and staff, during this time, Fabretto has made significant strides in reinventing the ways in which we deliver education adapting to the unique context of each community we serve. These efforts include:
Developing key resources, including guides for teachers and parents, worksheets, audiobooks, videos, and apps.
Distributing printed study guides and handouts for students, as well as instruction manuals and videos for parents to facilitate in-home learning.
Implementing the use of digital tools like Google Classroom, G-Suite, WhatsApp, and screen-recording software to deliver lessons.
Compiling lists of online resources like ProFuturo for teachers, parents, and students alike.
We are concerned about the impact that COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the crisis may have on the health and wellbeing of the families we serve. For this reason, Fabretto has also responded by sharing key health messages with staff, teachers, parents, and students. In addition, Fabretto has distributed relief packages of food products and hygiene supplies to families, and we expect to continue distributing packages of much-needed supplies to families in need during the coming months.
We are inspired by the commitment and creativity of our staff who are making all of this happen from a distance despite facing numerous logistical challenges. We truly believe in the power of education in times of crisis, but we need your help to continue to bring education to our students’ homes. Together, we can make an extraordinary difference in the lives of children, youth, and their families in Nicaragua.
With deep appreciation,
Apr 7, 2020
Fabretto's COVID-19 Response
By Kevin Marinacci - CEO
Dear Familia Fabretto,
As the world experiences the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, my thoughts and prayers turn to you. My sincerest hope is that you and your loved ones remain safe and in good health during these difficult times.
As Nicaragua reports its first cases of COVID-19, Fabretto is taking precautions to safeguard the health of our beneficiaries and staff. This includes handwashing campaigns, distribution of soap and hand sanitizers, and implementing online learning and teleworking. We know that a public health crisis of this magnitude is affecting us all worldwide, and we are doing everything possible to mitigate the negative impact this could have on the children and families in the communities we serve in Nicaragua.
Additionally, to protect our supporters, Fabretto has decided to postpone until further notice both the Friends of Fabretto trip scheduled this month and our annual NYC Night for Niños, usually held in May.
Because this is a quickly-changing situation, we are constantly monitoring new guidelines set by local health authorities, as well as the CDC and WHO. As the situation continues to evolve, we may need to take additional measures.
It is thanks to your unconditional support that we have been able to respond to this and other crises throughout the years in a timely and responsible way. Thank you for staying with us and for being there always. Together, we will get through this.