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

Dear Supporters, 

During 2017 we continued working with El Cocal community, and aimed to continue improving our programs. This was what the first quarter of this year was all about. Moreover, we started a Women empowerment program that should help to get us closer to our ultimate goal which is to empower the community in such a way that one day they don’t rely on our presence and improve their conditions.

For instance, before Christmas we asked a local contact with a degree in education to help us in improving the way we deliver our Childcare programme. We had been aware for a while that with the high turnover of people on this project, it was possible that we were not giving the children the best learning outcomes that we could give. We also realized that a week is not enough to even begin embarking on a theme, and given that none of us have any professional qualifications in teaching, we wanted to ask the experts to help us devise a curriculum that would work for our children, and provide a point of continuity from volunteer to volunteer. That is where Daniel came in. He came to observe our classes and devised a 6 month programme for us to use with our students, with 4 key themes spread over a period of 6 weeks. We started with the curriculum this January and we have been really pleased with how the children have responded to it. They really enjoy getting into the topic and you can notice they are learning much more than they used to. The month of January was spent looking at the theme ‘Convivencia’ or ‘Coexistence’, and the kids seemed to take away a lot. As part of this new curriculum, each week we study a new story related to the theme and we make a story board from it using our imaginations and drawing skills.

As for English teaching, we teach to teens and young adults in two different places. One is El Cocal, an illegal settlement just outside of central Quepos; and the other is Uvita, which is a town about an hour’s drive from base. While the two areas and two groups of students are different in some ways, they have one thing in common. They are both in touristic areas where even a basic level of English dramatically increases one’s employability. This is the reason for the need of English classes, and we teach directly depending on their needs.

In February, we’ve had spectacular volunteers who have been enthusiastic and ready to plan and prepare lessons for our different groups, especially in El Cocal. With the help of more volunteers, we can split the groups up further to give students more one-on-one time. Hence, some of the volunteers have had the opportunity to tailor lessons to individual students. For example, one gentleman who is currently working at a casino in Quepos and speaks a lot of English heard about our classes and decided to check them out. He is trying to get a better job working for a cruise line, but needs to improve his English overall, especially for the interview. For one of the lessons, one of our volunteers prepared a set of interview questions to go through with him. That student was able to get all of his questions answered, as well as practice comprehension and speaking with a native speaker, as opposed to practicing on his own at home.

March saw three school groups from USA that came to do service work and learn about Costa Rica and the challenges there are in Latin American development. They did a diverse amount of work from reforestation and mangrove cleaning to painting the new bathroom in the community centre to building more palm shades in the beach. These types of activities add up to the final goal of development and empowerment, as well as providing other sources of income to little by little divert them from vices and unsustainable ways of living.

Thank you for your continued support! 

With Gratitude, 

GVI Costa Rica 

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Dear Supporters,

This quarter we continued to run our two main programmes whist also participating in other exciting extracurricular events with the community. The University, Estatal a Distancia wanted to set up an event in the community which would promote anti violence, and organised family workshops which would equip residents with the tools they need to help them if they experience violence in their homes.

UNED contacted some community leaders in Cocal in order to set the ball rolling for the series of events they wanted to run, and the community leaders reached out to GVI to ask for our support in the process of organising everything. We were happy to help as we felt these events focused on topics that were pertinent issues to the community, such violence in the home and celebrating children.

UNED wanted to inspire the parents and children and equip them with the tools they need to handle these conflicts together and show visible solidarity against this behavior. In this community where people live in sometimes quite difficult circumstances it was lovely to see them all coming together to participate in this event. There was an amazing energy throughout the day and you could visibly see people’s happiness as they had fun with their families. The goals of the event were to promote the wellbeing of children and protest against violence in the home, and we think that UNED achieved this with the series of workshops and the main event that they organised.

In the month of October, a red alert for storms and flooding was declared across the whole of Costa Rica. Tropical storm Nate soon hit our area leaving many of us without electricity and water in our homes that night. We hoped that this would be the worst of the extent of the damage, but the morning after the storm we heard that many families’ homes had been washed away by the strong rains and currents. We set out into the community to see what we could do, bringing bottled water to the locally set up shelters, helping to hand out food and bringing toys and games for the children.

The week after, the relief efforts continued and all families in Cocal were supplied a bag of ‘diarios’ (daily essentials) by the Costa Rican government. The community centre was used to hand the supplies out and GVI volunteers and staff helped to transport the supplies over to Cocal, and local families were grateful for the packages they received. GVI also began a short term fundraising campaign with a 1000USD dollar target and thanks to donations from volunteers, GVI Quepos alumni, and their families we managed to raise our target in the space of the week and this money was spent on supplies for local people.

Thank you for your support in 2017 - we look forward to a great new year! 

With Gratitude, 

GVI Costa Rica, Quepos

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Dear Supporters,

During July and August GVI Quepos had thre main area's to focus on ie. Education, Health and Infrastructure. Therefore, in a meeting with the community, it was decided that the construction projects they needed these funds to go to were:

  • To repair and improve the area where people embark to cross and enter to the community ie. to build stairs with railings and repair ramp, as it get very slippery during rainy season, so this would make it more accessible and safer to elder and disable people.
  • To build a storehouse inside the community centre in order to keep all the chidren’s materials, that used to be stored in the kitchen - this would help start adapting the kitchen for our long term goal of using it for healthy breakfasts and for people to sell food.
  • To build a disabled bathroom following The Costa Rican law, this would allow elder people to have access to it too and also another 2 bathrooms for whenever there are activities inside the community centre.
  • Expand and improve the playground with a roof and more games for the children to spend their time in a healthier way. It has been noted that many children from the community greatly enjoy the playground as there are a few recreational activities for them.
  • As the Community Centre continues to be used for different events, it didn’t have suitable chairs, so 10 new foldable chairs were bought.

We continue working with this community side by side and our aim is to support them to achieve their objectives, which are to improve its conditions, empower the people and the children and support them with infrastructure and education. Having the community so motivated working together and also getting funding from other sources motivates us to continue helping them.

It is worth to mention that while skilled labor worked on the big construction tasks, some costs were absorbed by the community members. Volunteer participants greatly contributed painting the new structures and putting up 1km of sandbags as a sidewalk which was such a hard work. 

We are so greatful for all the help we continue to receive for this initiative! 

With love, 

Cynthia Arochi

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The new floor in the community centre
The new floor in the community centre

Dear Supporters, 

Our community development project is located in the coastal community of “El Cocal”, a semi illegal settlement on a peninsula off the coast.

Sidewalks 

There are no sidewalks suitable for the people when they are walking through the community. This becomes a pronounced issue during the rainy season when the roads flood and huge puddles form. So, part of the money that was requested was donated to collaborate on the costs of fuel for the cars that are helping put the sand bags on the road to stop flooding and help with the areas designed to the sidewalks.

Floor in the community centre

The community centre where we carry out the lessons for children and English classes for adults was in need of a suitable floor. The existing floor was not solid and it generated a lot of mess and dust and posed a health and safety threat for the people who come to the centre. So, we donated funds to help pay for the workmanship of the new ceramic floor installation, as well as cement to glue it.

We have also donated funds for electricity costs, potable water services and a new section of roof.

Thank you for your support, which has helped make these improvements and upgrades possible!

With Gratitude, 

GVI Costa Rica

Sandbagging the sidewalks!
Sandbagging the sidewalks!
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Reading time with the students
Reading time with the students

Dear Supporters,

The progression of the Project in El Cocal is noticeably being assisted by our increase in lesson time, something that we are really excited about!

In the past, volunteers used to spend a total of 4 hours teaching at the community centre, 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. This has been doubled! This means that we have more time to teach, engage and reinforce ideas and lessons with the children. We are now able to take more time with lessons to make sure that all the students understand and are learning effectively. Now, by the end of each week we were confident that the children have fully grasped new concepts and can explain what was important about each one!

As well as increasing our lesson time, we have also seen a massive increase in the number of students who come to class. We are now up to about 20 children per class! This is really exciting and a huge feather in the caps to the staff and volunteers who have worked so hard, so consistently. Although these big class numbers don’t happen daily, we are still extremely proud as it means more children are interested in coming to our classes and learning whilst having fun. We get the excitement of seeing new faces every couple of days and eventually we hope that we can provide a full day of education to all the Children in El Cocal!

We have also been busy increasing our engagement and involvement in the community as a whole. We have now been involved in two soup days, used to raise money for the community center as well as helping the Community Committee with some community survey work. The survey was initiated for two reasons. Firstly, it was to assess how many people were permanent residents in El Cocal . This helps everyone better understand the complete size and growth rates. This helps the committee, and ourselves, to better prepare for community development projects. Secondly, it was to create a map of El Cocal to establish security and safety in the event of an emergency. The committee would be able to know how many houses were in El Cocal, where the escape routes are and how the people should act in the case of an emergency.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of this project! We hope you are as excited about our growth and development as we are!

With Gratitude,

GVI Costa Rica

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Organization Information

Action Change (Formerly GVI Trust)

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Tyrone Bennett
London, London United Kingdom
$30,117 raised of $45,000 goal
 
364 donations
$14,883 to go
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