Family together around literacy
¡Alfabetiza! 2015, the adult literacy campaign, concluded its first year of work in San José Corral Blanco, Puebla. During the project, we successfully worked with 103 adults while living in their community for 7 weeks.
To carry out the project, on January 24th , 2015 a group of teenage volunteers started working on what we call pre-campaign where, during 21 weeks, we participated in 3 different activities: 21 sessions of training, a community diagnostics process, and fundraising. Aside from the training sessions, we arranged several garage sales, a dinner party, a cultural event, we collected small contributions on the streets, and sold small grant vouchers. We also received donation of goods. (For more information, please see the previous report.)
During the campaign, the volunteers generally get ready for their classes in the morning to teach them in the afternoons. In the class preparation room we had a small library, and a large variety of materials. Perhaps the most outstanding of these are many cards with pictures, words and syllables, wich we reprinted this year, in order to teach our students how to read and write with the Generative Words method.
In addition to teaching 39 classes a day, we developed an embroidery workshop. People from San José found this to be not only a relaxing space, but also a place to gather, reflect and learn. The embroidery workshop itself, as well as the discussions held during it, were based on the interests and situations the community had told us about during class. There were two embroidery workshops held on two consecutive weekends, 14 members of the community attended besides the volunteers of our project.
Besides working with adults in San José, we took on the task of working with children as well as young men and women. To achieve this we created two separate workshops, one child oriented and one youth oriented. The youth workshop led to the creation of the youth organization CSP (Community Support Projects, or PAC in Spanish), which seeks to create recreational spaces in San José. The members of CSP continue working; and they currently intend to build a basketball court. On the other hand, the children workshop held many different activities. Its objective was to gather knowledge that the children have of their community and of themselves.
Coexistence and cohabitation are a fundamental part of this project; therefore, this summer we decided to host a soccer game with the community, show a movie in public, and last but not least, go on a short trip with our students to a beautiful spot on the outskirts of San José known as El Cazadero. Here our students and volunteers bonded and interacted in a way different from anything they had experienced in class.
Our volunteers have learned and experienced new things throughout their time in San José. For example, Ollin A. shared the following:
After several weeks of teaching writing, maths and basic anatomy, my students Doña Bertila and Yesenia taught me how to chop wood. They found it funny that while I cut a single tree they had already gone through five. Then they told me: “This is just like writing, isn’t it? You need practice to get it right.”
Now the project is in its final stage: the evaluation process. After coming home, the volunteers have worked together to review both the work we did before arriving at San José and the work done while we were there. We are constantly seeking constructive criticism as a group so we can grow as individuals, as a team, and as ¡Alfabetiza!
Training Sessions: 17
Conferences Held: 3
Adult Participants: 103
Adults on Basic Literacy: 41
Groups of students: 39
Children Workshop Participants: 30
Youth Workshop Participants: 10
Dona Luisa is embroidering his name
Playing with the kids