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
Fun and games and music!
Fun and games and music!

Dear Supporters,

Semana Santa, which literally means ‘Holy Week’, is the week around Easter and it is celebrated throughout Latin America.  All schools are closed during this week. So, instead of following our regular class schedule, we decided to host a 3-day holiday camp for the children. The theme was “Around the World” with the idea that we would teach the students about different continents, counties and cultures.

On Monday of Semana Santa, we started our Cultural Camp in El Cocal.

We divided the days according to continents. On the first day we focused on Europe and Australia, the second day celebrated cultural traditions from Asia, and the final day wrapped it up with Africa and the Americas.

We exposed the children to a wide variety of cultural activities such as Aboriginal painting from Australia, lantern making from Asia, netball from England and an Easter egg hunt from North America. By engaging the students in these experiences, we introduced them to new ideas cultures. For the majority of the students, this was the first time that they were exposed to traditions outside of Costa Rica.

The volunteers with GVI Quepos successfully provided students with a safe, fun, educational environment to spend their Semana Santa holiday week. This is important for several reasons.

Access to camps and activities like these are incredibly important for the children, and even more so when the schools are closed. When the schools are closed there are very limited supervised activities for the children. They will mostly be found playing, unsupervised, in the streets. This can be problematic because there are plenty of negative and unsafe situations that the children could be exposed to. The community, made up mostly of migrants fleeing bad situations in their own countries, is rife with drugs, violence and cultural conflict and poverty.

For these reasons it is important to provide an alternative for the children that is safe and fun. Word of our camp reached over 20 children, which gave the program an platform to inform more families about what we were teaching on a regular basis. As a result, we had 10 new children join our regular classes after the week was over! We were also able to bond with students who were already attending class and a greater level of mutual trust was achieved between the volunteers and their students.

It is safe to say that Cultural Camp during Semana Santa was a great success in both positively influencing the children as well as expanding the reach of our regular program so that it may benefit more and more children in the community.

Thank you for your generosity which makes programs like this possible.

With Gratitude,

GVI Costa Rica

 

 

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Teaming up with Sing me a Story!
Teaming up with Sing me a Story!

Dear Supporter, 

We have some very exciting developments here in Quepos and one or two plans up our sleeves. We are really looking forward to what 2016 holds for this project!

We are very pleased to tell you that we are teaming up with the Sing Me a Story Foundation (SMAS) in 2016. SMAS works with children all around the world, turning their stories into songs. 

The partnership is part of a wider effort to create a stable learning environment for the children from the El Cocal community. El Cocal is an illegal settlement of mainly immigrant families and life there is a daily struggle for a lot of the families. 

What we are going to offer is a safe place where children can come before and after school hours or when school is closed. The children will be given a series of classes on social and emotional intelligence, as well as English lessons. It will be a fun and interactive space with lots of music and singing and creativity. Part of this will be for the children to write their own story, based on topics that we are covering. We will then be sending these stories over to the amazing team of songwriters that Sing me a Story has and get the stories turned into a song for the children. 

It is a wonderful gift to hear your own words sung back to you and we are hoping that this will inspire the children to carry on coming to the community center. In conjunction with this project, we are also raising money to be able to provide the children that join the project a healthy breakfast

We are really looking forward to the challenges, excitement and successes that we know 2016 is going to bring and we can't wait to share all of our developments with you!

With Gratitude, 

Kate

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Dear Supporter, 

The Quepos community project aims to increase basic literacy at under-resourced primary schools. Extending English lessons into younger grades gives students a head start in their educational journeys.

Staff members at GVI Quepos were approached with the opportunity to help teach English classes at a local preschool. Classes at this school had previously been managed by a United States Peace Corp volunteer, but her time in Quepos was ending. GVI agreed to try out teaching to the younger students, which included kids from 1-6 year olds. GVI´s involvement in this school would contribute to achieving universal primary education, which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).               

Class content for the little learners included a variety of songs, books, props, interactive activities and materials for sensory stimulation. The tiny scholars were able to participate and gained access to the information in creative ways. Activities were created that allowed each student to be successful, despite differing student levels or experience with the English language.

The classes last from twenty to sixty minutes and are thoroughly enjoyed by students and local teachers alike. Volunteers also have a great time planning and leading the lessons. Using books, as starting point, the lessons focus on counting, colors, letters or other age appropriate content – but all in English. To close the language gap, pictures, props, acting and, of course, smiles are used to help identify key vocabulary words.

Due to the initial positive outcomes, GVI has been able to take the class set up and extend preschool offerings into two other community partner schools. Lessons are now being taught five times a week, with plans to continue for the rest of the school year. 

Thank you for you continuous support!

With Gratitude, 

GVI Costa Rica

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The Under 18 construction crew!
The Under 18 construction crew!

Dear Supporter, 

GVI Quepos’ 2015 Under 18s volunteering group spent two weeks building, fixing, and updating infrastructure at tiny Roncador Primary School near Quepos, contributing immensely to GVI’s commitment to improve school infrastructure which began with the funding for construction of a school cafeteria in 2014. 

Here is what the under 18s achieved. It was a busy 2 weeks!

  • finished the cafeteria
  • created a playground area for the kindergarten
  • painted the kindergarten classroom
  • dug a drainage ditch to prevent flooding
  • painted the school’s outer wall
  • rebuilt a dilapidated house into a functioning learning  

The GVI team was directed, organized and taught by the talented and patient local foreman, Olman, and his cheerful and skilled sidekicks, Carlos and Francisco. Under their expert direction, the team managed to accomplish an astounding amount of work and improve the learning environment for the wonderful students of Roncador.

The team was able to clear out an entire over-grown and weed-ridden back section. They removed a blister-creating concrete fence, shovelled and hoed the ground to remove rocks and roots, and moved endless wheelbarrow loads of dirt to level-out and re-floor the area to make it a safe and child-friendly area for playing. The swing set was dug out, tearing out the concrete bases that went almost a meter into the ground, and relocated to the new kindergarten playground. We washed and painted the classroom walls inside and out giving the classroom a fresh and clean new look for the young learners.

The outside of the new cafeteria was sealed and painted. What sometimes seemed like endless days were spent shovelling dirt, filling wheelbarrows with rocks and soil, and moving what seemed like mountains away from the play areas.  The team cleared out, cleaned and re-organized the bat-filled bodega, used to store classroom and maintenance materials. The job came with built in obligatory breaks when the bats decided to stretch their wings and survey the work.

The school’s boundary fence was water-blasted, scrubbed, cleaned, and painted, which, although somewhat repetitive, had the added bonus of splashing volunteers with water, a welcomed consequence after hours in the sun. Many hours were spent under the hot sun digging drains and trying to avoid biting ants so that the playground and garden areas of the school would not flood when it rained. The flag pole was also sanded, painted and re-fixed into the ground.

The English classes that GVI runs are held in a small run-down, termite-ridden house that leaked in the rain. Part of the goals for the Under 18s was to fix up the house. After the roof and some of the internal walls were removed by Olman the full extent of the termite damage was realized and most of the internal structure had to be replaced with steel framework. The corrugated iron roof was scrubbed and sanded with wire brushes and painted with zinc to keep the roof rust-free and sturdy.

The front section of the classroom was cleared and a big drain was dug to help prevent flooding. The concrete walls of the house were weak in parts, so the weak cement was chipped away and patched up. The walls were re-plastered and given a fresh coat of paint. We even included a mural of a GVI tree with all of our handprints as leaves.

The improvements have made the school a safer, cleaner and better learning environment. The children now have a safe place to play and a re-vamped classroom, the school grounds are clean and the drainage that was dug means that children will be able to play even after it has rained. The English classroom is well on its way to becoming a safe and positive learning environment.

Thank you for your generous donations, which have funded all of this work in Roncador. We look forward to bringing you news on how the children are enjoying their new and improved school.

With Gratitude, 

GVI Costa Rica

Before and after
Before and after
Repainting the roof sheets
Repainting the roof sheets
The GVI hand tree
The GVI hand tree

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Kite festival in Cocal, Quepos
Kite festival in Cocal, Quepos

Dear Supporter, 

Here in Quepos GVI is working hard to maintain our bi-weekly English clubs, which we started in three local school about 6 months ago. We are also constantly working to improve and refine them as we go along. We began developing policies to combat new problems that were cropping up, worked more closely with the local teachers, and weathered staff changes.

Attendance began lagging in two of the schools we work in.  A stricter policy on absences has helped motivate the students to attend more regularly. The principals of the schools agreed we could make students bring notes to the principal before they could be excused from class.  Volunteers also worked to make the classes more enjoyable for the students. We began bringing snacks every day, giving prizes more frequently and added more games into the curriculum. The students began participating with a renewed sense of excitement.

Additionally, we began working with the local teachers and principals more closely. Using students as translators, a role they were quite proud of, we asked the local teachers questions and created short bios of most of them.  We want future volunteers to feel comfortable interacting with the teachers. We encouraged volunteers and staff members to strike up conversations with teachers they saw around the school to get to know them better. 

Festivals and other non-academic activities were another way of growing more involved with the schools.  A Kite Festival in El Cocal, the most impoverished community we work in, was an impressive demonstration of unity and community spirit.  Everyone enjoyed watching the children play with their kites while we helped set up the festival.  A cultural day in Damas allowed the students to show off their dance moves and put on little skits.  The Jumpstart students were a bit embarrassed when their teachers started cheering for them!

Overall, the English clubs are going very well and we will continue to strive to make progress and address challenges as they come up. 

With Gratitude, 

GVI Quepos

Kite festival in Cocal, Quepos
Kite festival in Cocal, Quepos
Sarah delivering an English lesson
Sarah delivering an English lesson

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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
$14,883 to go
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