Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community

by Action Change (Formally GVI Trust)
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community
Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community

It’s certainly a challenging time for our community in Costa Rica. While due to COVID we had to pause the majority of our operations we continued to support our community through awareness of COVID preventative measures and we help keep funding the majority of our local team through lockdowns. 

In October we finally were able to get back to engaging the community and following COVID guidelines we found it essential to take people’s minds away from COVID and begin our business as usual free workshops for the community. 

Over the passed few weeks we have covered a wide range of topics that include how to care for the most important mangrove habitat that surrounds the community in Cocal and play a very important park in the local ecosystem. We also began to run educational workshops that start to engage and welcome the community members to engage with our project. We started with workshops on the history of the local area and this was very popular and rewarding. 

 

We want to engage our local community further and begin to offer English lessons and other skills that will help upskill the community in 2021. 

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Dear Supporters,

 

From each of the experiences that we all live, we must learn something new, and that is a fact during this year.

 

Despite the fact that many of us had structured plans about what we were going to do, we had to face great challenges that we had not anticipated, changes that initially could generate uncertainty, but from which we learned little by little.

 

One of our main pillars is quality education, with which we always try to provide knowledge to people so that they have greater opportunities, hence facing a pandemic, meant a change, not a complete barrier, during the period of confinement by COVID, here in Quepos, it was not possible for us to continue teaching English classes for students who regularly attended our lessons, so we had to adapt to the circumstances and decided to continue teaching classes using technological tools, in our case Skype.

 

Initially, we were not completely sure that we could count on the attendance of many of the students since not everyone had easy access to the internet or smartphones , but happily many of them began to attend, something new for them and for us, which taught us that wanting is power. The classes managed to strengthen the knowledge they had, clarify doubts, and learn new topics that will facilitate the participation of students at a higher level, once we can re-teach the lessons in the community.

 

Members of the El Cocal community have had to face different difficulties during the times of the pandemic, but at the same time, they have managed to unify more in search of a common good.

 

Thanks to the participation in community development workshops and the initiative of one of the community leaders, Giovanni, they communicated through WhatsApp groups and organized different activities, always trying to respect health protocols to avoid any inconvenience, two were organized different sales of hot vegetable soup, in order to raise funds to cover the expenses of water and electricity of the Community Centre and another to raise funds and to install a sink at the main entrance of the Community Centre and maintain the sewer and drain of the bathroom.

 

We must take into consideration that for the members of the community, the good work that we have done to maintain the community centre, such as the change of the roof that we managed to do thanks to the collaboration of all of you, are motivation to take their own initiatives and achieve their goals, seeing the results of everyone's cooperation. Now the members of the community have a more suitable place to carry out different activities and the children a safer place to learn and play.

 

Thinking about future projects within the community, where we would like to try to create a community garden, during these days in the patio of our house in Quepos, we have started a small garden with vegetables to see if the weather is favourable and the products grow well. . Fortunately, many of them are bearing fruit and in a few days and months we will be able to collect lettuce, potatoes, tomatoes, celery, onions, peppers, beets and pineapples; so we would hope that with everyone's help, in the near future, we will be able to implement the crops, first around the Community Centre and then in some houses in the community.

 

Working with our partners is always valued and of importance, since we can expand our contribution, and it is the case with ASOMACAO, Ana María is the head of this association that watches over the welfare of scarlet macaws, and in previous days speaking with She told us that the macaw population is increasing and that it will be necessary to build new nests for future incubations, with which we hope to collaborate with it, since it is a native species of the area that is in the process of natural reintegration and we would like to be able to collaborate, so together, with your help, we can continue working in this project.

 

Of everything, we always try to take the most positive, and with all the ups and downs of this year, it is thanks to the collaboration of all the people who with their donations help us to achieve our goals, objectives that are always redeemable and profitable from the best way, so for all of us it is always a huge thank you for being part of this path that leads us to make dreams come true.

 

During these times of adversity, we want to extend thanks for your collaboration in our projects. It is thanks to each of your contributions that we can strengthen all the work we do in the community.

 

With Gratitude

 

Costa Rica Community

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Quepos Cocal
Quepos Cocal

Dear Supporters,

 

Thanks to the efforts of many people who supported us this time it has been possible to move to a better place for our Teaching English Project. This program is very important in the locality because it allows the participants to have better employment opportunities.

 

The last rainy season made the conditions of the Theatre where we used to teach become unsafe, and some wild animals started to get into the place, including some racoons that like to take classes. After all the teamwork between us and the community, it was possible to use the Community Centre of Quepos (ADI) lead by “Integral Development Association of Quepos”.   People responded very well and now our classes increased by 50%, a reason why part of the raised funds were used to buy supplies like chairs and tables to make for a better learning environment.  

 

Throughout this time we have continued our alliances with different partners which have allowed us do activities such as beach cleaning recollecting more than 700 kilograms of garbage of the shore, workshops to empower the community related with self-esteem, first aids and how to have clean classrooms.

 

Part of the funds are being used to purchase more than 450 healthy snacks for the children of el Cocal. Due to the lack of resources in their families, children eat very unhealthily, which affects their teeth, growth and learning process. One of the important alliances we did, was with the municipality and the dental care department, which helped us visit the community and assist the children for one week.

 

It is worth mentioning that thanks to everyone's support it was also possible to acquire new materials, so children can work during the program every day. Additionally, Partners of Greentique made possible to do a field trip to a Butterfly Sanctuary, they sponsor the children from El Cocal, and did a meaningful experience for them, because they’ve never had the chance before to be outside of their community and visit a wild refuge. They learned about wildlife, mangroves, reptiles and how butterflies live and reproduce. 

 

Another important point to mention is due the school El Cocal conditions are not the most favorable right now (no windows, half of the roof is roosted, and one wall is about to fall), children of kindergarten are not having everyday classes, they have to share classroom with other grades or when the older students are in sports; so we are receiving them at the community centre in the Childcare programme and volunteers are doing and excellent job creating materials and activities to continue stimulating their creativity and motor skills.

 

One of the following steps is to continue with the Community Development long term goals in Quepos and el Cocal, and help to  maintain the classrooms of the school and be able to change the roof as was done with the Community Centre that we work at the moment in Cocal.

 

It is important to mention that everything has been achieved thanks to the participation of community members and the generous donations of all of you, volunteers, friends and families of the locality. 

 

We are grateful for your generosity, it is with your help that we continue to pursue the further development of our activities, as well as community members are participating more and more alongside our dedicated volunteers. 

 

Thank you, the huge progress being made in Quepos and el Cocal community cannot occur without your kind support.

 

With Gratitude,

 

Costa Rica Community

Butterfly field trip
Butterfly field trip
Sport activities
Sport activities
Dental care
Dental care
Butterfly field trip
Butterfly field trip
Quepos ADI
Quepos ADI
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Dear Supporters,

 

Thanks to the efforts of many people who supported us this time it has been possible to fulfill the dream of changing the roof of our community center, which it used to have leaks and holes everywhere. This space a safe space for families, they can have events, community activities, trainings and security and safety meetings, as well, it is the place where we have our Childcare, Teaching English and community development programs.

 

Due to change of the roof, we were able to place electricity in the space and it is now possible to have light during the English classes that are given in the afternoon. This has facilitated the teaching process in space.

 

In the English teaching program, we have managed to keep more than 40 teenage and adult students between Cocal and Coapza. The fact that they learn the language allows them to have better employment opportunities. More than half of them have already obtained their first certificate of the level they are according to the TEFL, which is very important for their curriculum.

 

Throughout this time we have continued our alliances with different partners such as the Distance University of Costa Rica, ASOMACAO AC, the Municipality of Quepos, the Local Theatre-COPAZA, SUNNY ERG, Comitiva Quepos and PANI, which have allowed us do activities such as beach cleaning, workshops to strengthen leadership in the community and set short and medium-term goals about community development, including  safe and safety activities with the hygiene committee.

 

Part of the funds are being used to purchase healthy snacks for the children. Due to the lack of resources in their families, children eat very unhealthily, which affects them in their growth and learning process.

 

It is worth mentioning that thanks to everyone's support it was also possible to acquire materials, so children can work during the program, in which they learn environmental education, mangrove’s conservation, local species of flora and fauna which are vital for the ecosystem and their lives. They have also learned about values and the importance of being in a safe and respectful space. Every day we work to help children improve their reading, writing, maths and English. 

 

Now we are receiving children between three and four years old because they do not have a teacher in kindergarten, so we are stimulating their creativity and motor skills.

 

Tanks to the funding we be able to buy school supplies like colours, markers, and many other materials in order to work and stimulate the children of Cocal. In addition, some toys could be purchased for the youngest children (under 4 years old) who arrive at the class while the older siblings are participating in educational activities with us.

 

It was also possible to fix a part of the swings in the playground, so children can play without risk to get hurt.

 

It is important to mention that everything has been achieved thanks to the participation of community members and the generous donations of all of you, volunteers, friends and families of the locality. 

 

We are grateful to all for your incredible generosity, it is with your help that we continue to pursue the further development of our activities and continue to have high enrolment in English classes, as well as community members are participating more and more alongside our dedicated volunteers. 

 

Thank you, on behalf of every single person you have impacted, no matter how big or small.  The huge progress being made in the El Cocal community cannot occur without your kind support.

 

With Gratitude,

 

Costa Rica Community

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Rebuilding
Rebuilding

Thank you for your support, the resources of our "Community Development Fund" have been used to improve the community in El Cocal, at the request of the people who live and participate there.

El Cocal is a community located on a small peninsula a few minutes outside of Quepos. The community itself is an isolated home to Costa Ricans as well as many immigrant families from other neighbouring Latin American countries (Nicaragua, Cuba, and Panama). 

Many of the people come to Costa Rica to benefit from the political and financial stability the country offers. However, even in such a tourist-rich area as Quepos, people can struggle to earn a living unless they are able to draw an income from foreign visitors. 

Male residents of El Cocal are usually employed in the fishing industry, work in hotels, or get involved with illegal activities. Families often partake in a more short-term, day-by-day livelihood rather than focus on their long-term future. 

The children raised in this environment do not have an understanding towards preparing for their future. Partially fuelled by the lack of education in the community and partially by the transient and semi-legal nature of El Cocal (many of whose members are seasonally unemployed and affected by drug and alcohol abuse), their attitudes towards education and life in general are reflected by these offsets. 

Therefore, together with the community, we have been working in designing a strategy to develop El Cocal to help them prosper for the future.

After the results of several workshops about Community Development and Leadership, it has been possible to define the next set of steps needed for Cocal to progress. Also established are the people who will participate, through which some community members have been empowered.

Don, has always been a leading member of the community, but has become more assertive in his pursuit of a better Cocal. He has learned how to involve community members and local partners. He was successful in creating a relationship with the municipality, resulting in a reforestation project of more than 200 trees for El Cocal and the neighbouring community. For this activity, several organizations participated, including local police, fishermen, the Distance University, and people of Cocal. The event allowed us to be in contact with other families of the community and showed the importance of working in solidarity. 

Report

During these months, we have been working with different partners such as the Distance University of Costa Rica, ASOMACAO AC, the Municipality of Quepos, Sunny Erg, and the Local Theatre-COPAZA.

Together we are looking to develop and improve the social conditions in Cocal by helping the community discover their strengths and provide them with more tools for their personal growth.    

Thanks to your generous donations and the participation of the community members, we have been able to consistently provide healthy snacks to the children of the community during our Childcare program. This is very important due to the lack of money, resources, and stability & foundation within the household. Many of the children eat very unhealthily and develop bad nutritional habits.

We have also been able to serve more than 50 people in our English teaching project. Most inhabitants of the community would love to learn English but cannot afford to take classes as it would be provided from a disposable income they do not have. In this tourist-rich region, it allows families to have a better income and a chance to better support their families. 

Workshops

One of the goals from the Community Development workshops was to do activities focused on leadership. Three workshops were held where both men and women from the community participated. Participants from different facets of the community involved themselves; housewives, fisherman, businessman, teenagers. This result allowed us to underline the importance of having an integrated community.

An annual activity plan/schedule was setup along with those who are responsible for organizing the upcoming activities to be developed. The tasks for these activities have been determined and the members of the community who are charged to lead them.

Likewise, a workshop on self-knowledge and self-esteem for women was achieved. After the National strike at the end of 2018, it was difficult to gather women of the community together. Responsibilities needing to be prioritized led to this difficulty. Since then a small core of women are now participating, little by little.    

Maintenance in the Community centre

We also use the funding for materials and supplies for the Childcare program. The activities we carry out during the program help the children to be out off the street, learn about new topics, and strengthen their reading and writing. This year’s topics included first aid, environmental education, and mathematics.

Another part of the funding goes towards the maintenance of the Community Centre and the playground. The children are consistently playing in the playground and attending Childcare at the Community Centre. Along with our English & Childcare program, the Community Centre is used by various local partners (UNED, PANI, PAWS, etc.) and Cocal community members for events, festivals, & workshops. Both locations have become staples of the community and it would be hard to imagine El Cocal without them.

Lastly, this year we repaired the piping for the water supply and repainted the Community Centre. One of our service learning groups laid concrete to create a walkway surrounding the Centre, along with building an area that can support a small garden. Due to its coastal locale, proximity next to the ocean, and the heavy rainfall during Green Season, the Centre rusts and damages quite easily and is always needing maintenance and renovation. 

Similarly for the playground, we were able to make another set of swings for the children. A few of the community members donated their time and lent their equipment as well. In addition, all the damaged wood from the toddler park was repaired and painted. There are still things needing to be fixed and created for the toddler park so the youngest children can have a fun environment to play as well.

What is next?

Our commitment to our work in Cocal will lead to reinforcing the importance of being participative. As we build more relationships and have more active members in the community, GVI Trust's Community Development program will grow exponentially. This will result in the continued progress and development of El Cocal at large. 

Furthermore, we wish to have support in offering nutritional workshops and continue to provide healthy food for the children. 

One of our most significant emphases is keeping our safe spaces for children and the rest of the community. That is why it is of the utmost importance and necessity to repair the roof of the Community Centre and the electrical system in it. As previously stated, the Community Centre is an essential part of Cocal that the community relies on for a plethora of usages.

Thank you for your incredible generosity. It is greatly appreciated. The huge progress being made in the El Cocal community cannot occur without your kind support.

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formally GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
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Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London, London United Kingdom
$29,241 raised of $45,000 goal
 
342 donations
$15,759 to go
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