*Striving for sustainability*
Private sector and community partnerships are key components of sustainability. They address problems arising from institutional dysfunction and play a constructive role in enhancing, financing and supporting innovative programs.
New partnership activities in our Program:
-Finding local solutions to address nutritional needs:
Parents at a private school (Colegio La Montaña) make monthly donations to fund a lunch program for Learning Circle students. These funds and others provided by local businesses are used to purchase food from local restaurants.
-Harnessing community service:
Tenth graders from Colegio La Montaña and their teachers planned and developed programs for Learning Circles children who are bused to private school on Saturdays for art, music, and physical education classes.
-Engaging the private sector:
The Rotary Club of Bogotá raised funds from local businesses in 2005 to provide audiovisual equipment (TV, computers, VHS). The Escuela Nueva Foundation also adapted the audio-visual materials from a previous partnership with Citurna, (a private firm) to provide educational content and show teachers how to integrate the new content with the learning guides.
These entities can provide critical assistance with short term funding and risk capital; NGOs also raise public awareness and provide credibility and stature to projects and can help draw in local partners and government organizations to provide the support necessary for sustainability. A number of partnerships were formed with international NGOs (International Office of Migration, UN High Commission for Refugees, Norwegian Council for Refugees, Plan International).
Children, their parents and their community members assume responsibility for school events, community projects, and the care of school premises. These initiatives serve to embed the learning circle program in the community, foster a proactive approach to addressing needs and introduce more active participants into the learning process.