Providing Resources to Up-skill a Community

by Action Change (Formerly 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
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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Dear Supporters, 

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

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

Male residents of El Cocal are commonly employed in the fishing industry, work in Manuel Antonio 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 growing up in this environment do not have an understanding towards preparing for the future. Partially fuelled by lack of education in the community and partially by the transient and semi-legal nature of the community (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.

One of the most important tasks has been to identify the needs of the community through its inhabitants. During the community development workshops, the people of Cocal have been able to understand the importance of being part of the process. It helps them to decide what they want for their inhabitants, how they would like to see their community in the future, and how they should participate.

During the process, it has been possible to empower people of the community. With workshops, working all together and helping each other, now the community can organize in better ways, and some of the women in Cocal are teaching each other how to sew.

Now Cristobalina is the best promoter with the people of the community that leaves far. She is working hard in make them participate and communicate all the things that are going on in the committees.

Another example of community empowerment are the people who participate in the English classes that GVI provides. It helps them learn another avenue of communication and in obtaining resources for their families. Now more and more people are attending the classes.

During these months, we’ve been working with different partners such as the Distance University of Costa Rica, ASOMACAO AC, the Municipality of Quepos, and the Local Theatre-COPAZA, SUNNY ERG, Comitiva Quepos, PANI.

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

Workshops

Continuing with the results of the interviews last year and covering the interests and needs in the community. This year we work in planning and prioritization of projects for the community, self-esteem and leadership. In all of them there was a good participation, although it is still necessary for people from the farthest part of Cocal to get involved, however Cristobalina has become the spokesperson and the interest and participation of the community is advancing.

During the community development workshops, we worked on the strengths and opportunities of the community, as well as points of conflict or weakness. One of the purposes of the workshops was to identify the people who contribute to improving the community and the possible actors who can strengthen Cocal.

Other important workshop was carried out in Cocal, was related with identity and sense of belonging. We analyse together how the sense of community is built. It was very interesting to observe that in the theory people are very clear about what should be done, but in practice they find it difficult to break the barriers that have been created over time, so we decided to split the workshop in two sessions about building the identity of the Cocal and how to close the gaps between the inhabitants. The conclusions were very important, they determined communication strategies and a festival organized by the community was convened in order to be in contact with all and make sure to inform what are the next steps for Cocal.

Maintenance in the Community centre

Part of the funds requested are being used to purchase healthy snacks for the children. Due to the lack of resources in their families, children eat very unhealthily and develop bad nutritional habits.

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 reading and writing. We are working hard to support the 

school curriculum to strengthen the subjects related to science, math, reading and writing, since we still have children who are 12 years old who cannot read or write well.

Now we are receiving children who are smaller because they do not have teacher in kinder garden, with them we are spending more time, stimulating their creativity and motor skills.

Likewise, we are working together with the PANI to be able to give a workshop on the best education for parents and children of the Cocal considering non-violence and values.

Another part of the funding goes towards the maintenance of the Playground and Community Centre. This are where we carry out the activities for Childcare, the English classes ,  workshops, community events, and town hall meetings.

Lastly, this year we repaired the woods of the Playground, the slide, and the swings, is the only fun, open space that the children use on a frequent basis..Also we repaired part of the roof and renovated some the ceiling plates, because they were so rusty and due to the proximity next to the sea and the heavy rains, was necessary to do it by parts to continue having this safe space for the community.

What is next?

In continuing our work in Cocal, reinforcing the importance of being participative is essential. As we build more relationships and have more active members in the community, GVI’s Community Development program grows, resulting in progress of El Cocal at large.

We will to continue our focus on healthy eating. Having support in offering nutritional workshops, healthy cooking, and continue to provide healthy snacks for the children.

We would also like to address the interest in parent education workshops, first respondent, and create safe spaces for children and their families where they can express and learn.

One of our most significant emphasises is keeping our safe spaces for children and the rest of the community. That is why it is a necessity to repair the other part of the roof of the Community Centre

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.

GVI Quepos

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Dear Supporters,

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

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

Male residents of El Cocal are commonly employed in the fishing industry, work in Manuel Antonio 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 growing up in this environment do not have an understanding towards preparing for the future. Partially fuelled by lack of education in the community and partially by the transient and semi-legal nature of the community (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.

One of the most important tasks has been to identify the needs of the community through its inhabitants. During the community development workshops, the people of Cocal have been able to understand the importance of being part of the process. It helps them to decide what they want for their inhabitants, how they would like to see their community in the future, and how they should participate.

During the process, it has been possible to empower people of the community. One example is a local woman named Cristobalina, she was mostly afraid of undertaking activities when first introduced to GVI. Though now she is developing her own business. She participates actively in every activity of the community. She is now also helping to organize people from the farthest areas of El Cocal to develop activities and projects in the area.

Another example of community empowerment are the people who participate in the English classes that GVI provides. It helps them learn another avenue of communication and in obtaining resources for their families.

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

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

Workshops

More than 50 families have been interviewed in order to know about their health conditions, their personal interests, and dreams for their community.

During the community development workshops, we gave back all the information we requested and recreated the history of Cocal through the stories provided from members of the community. We initiated a community mapping formed by the children and adults and made a comparison of the things they like and dislike about their community.

We also conversed with the community, better understanding their aspirations for Cocal and determined the strengths that are present in the inhabitants.

During the analysis, the participants discovered and highlighted both the aspects that must be maintained within the community and the hindrances that must be avoided for the betterment of its future.

We are now moving in the right direction to building a stronger sense of belonging, identity, and community.

Maintenance in the Community centre

Part of the funds requested are being used to purchase healthy snacks for the children. Due to the lack of resources in their families, children eat very unhealthily and develop bad nutritional habits.

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 reading and writing. The children’s literacy is quite deficient, especially now since schools just reopened after six months off due to the nationwide governmental strike.

Another part of the funding goes towards the maintenance of the Community Centre. This is where we carry out the activities for Childcare and the English classes for the community. The community also uses the space to host workshops, community events, and town hall meetings. It has become a staple of El Cocal and an important pillar and resource to the community.

Lastly, this year we repaired the bathroom, the piping for water supply, and painted the kitchen and part of the gates. Due to its proximity next to the sea and the heavy rainfall during Green Season, the Centre damages and rusts quite easily and is always needing fixes and renovation.

What is next?

In continuing our work in Cocal, reinforcing the importance of being participative is essential. As we build more relationships and have more active members in the community, GVI’s Community Development program grows, resulting in progress of El Cocal at large.

Furthermore, we wish to continue our focus on healthy eating. Having support in offering nutritional workshops and continue to provide healthy snacks for the children.

One of our most significant emphasises is keeping our safe spaces for children and the rest of the community. That is why it is a necessity to repair both the roof of the Community Centre and the playground nearby. As previously stated, the Community Centre is an essential part of Cocal that the community relies on for a plethora of usages and the playground is a fun, open space that the children use on a frequent basis. It is urgent that the broken areas of the playground be fixed and to replace part of the roof before the rainy season commences.

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.

With Gratitude, 

Costa Rica, Community

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Dear Supporters,

During this quarter we have been working together with our partners UNED and Asomacao, with the purpose of strengthening the capability of the community, for adults, children and adolescents, however, due to the current situation in Costa Rica, we have focused our work on supporting the education of the children and adolescents in the community.

We continue working with the established projects, however we have now taken an important role in Childcare. Due to the on-going strikes in Costa Rica, there has been no school for almost two months (it is very likely that this will be extended until the beginning of February 2019).  We are concerned that the children will fall behind in their studies, so now the, activities with children, include lessons covering reading, comprehension and math.  We have designed lessons to target the different age groups (between 4 -12). Environmental activities are being carried out, with the support of our partner ASOMACAO, and we are creating awareness of the importance of wildlife. 

It is important to continue supporting the children of the community. It is worth mentioning that we are also working with teenagers, who are now participating more in the Teaching English program.  We are encouraging them to remain interested in studying and not fall into social problems such as drug taking or alcoholism.  

We will continue working this way so the children from Cocal can start the next school year with strong foundations. We will also continue to motivate young people to continue participating in community study and development programs which have the potential to provide opportunities for them to move forward and improve their quality of life.

With Love, 

Costa Rica Community Team

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Dear Supporters,

In line with SDG 3, Good Health and Well Being, one of our long-term objectives at GVI Quepos is to improve access to education and wellness to El Cocal community.

El Cocal is the main community we work in, and we have been working there for seven years (since GVI opened its hub in Quepos). El Cocal is unique because it’s a semi-illegal settlement as all the houses on the peninsula are built too close to the water according to Costa Rican legal standards. For this reason, the community doesn’t receive much governmental assistance. To further complicate things, there is a large immigrant population living on the peninsula, the majority being from Nicaraguan. Many of the Nicaraguan residents of El Cocal are in difficult situations as it’s very difficult for them to get legal documentation such as a passport or ID card, and this also means many of these immigrants receive no health insurance.

We (GVI Quepos volunteers and staff) promoted a fundraiser for a woman named Eneyda. Eneyda has been working with us since the beginning of GVI Quepos. She cooks lunch for our volunteers every day and sees us as her “GVI family.” Apart from cooking for us, she also welcomes us by inviting us to family events such as birthday parties, and really enjoys having our volunteers come and cook with her. Even if the volunteers don’t speak Spanish and she doesn’t speak English, they communicate and have a great time. She truly is part of the GVI Quepos family and it wouldn’t be the same without her.

Eneyda is an immigrant from Nicaragua who came to Costa Rica twenty years ago with her nine children walking and using public transport. She brought her family here to Costa Rica so they would be safer and get a better education. She receives no health insurance from the government and as she is getting older, some of her health conditions have worsened. She has thrombosis in her right foot, gastritis, high blood pressure, and anemia. The medications she requires cost around $200 USD per month and she will need them for the rest of her life.

We were fortunate enough to have raised enough money to fund her medications for at least six months. Many former volunteers and their families reached out with kind words, photos of their time with Eneyda, and their donations.

With so much gratitude, thank you! 

GVI Quepos 

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
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Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London, London United Kingdom
$30,117 raised of $45,000 goal
 
364 donations
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