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COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia

by Fundacion ABLE
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COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
Messages of peace from Colombian children
Messages of peace from Colombian children

Dear friends and supporters,

Over the last couple months our community of donors has grown to nearly a hundred and we can't be more thankful, especially now that not only COVID but the social burst in Colombia have made things harder for schools to run normally.

The National Strike in Colombia started on April 29th and it last almost two months. With it came a social burst that ended in violence from both protesters and the Police and later on danger in the streets. Siloé, our neighborhood, was one of the epicenters of the manifestations so our children and their families had to make it through nights of shootings, robberies, tear gases, lockdowns and more. With the help of our group of psychologysts and volunteers we provided emergency attention to children and teachers in order to cope with the emotional burden of the moment. Thank God we were able to overcome and now the children are back at school enjoying the opportunity to share with friends and learn.

In the meantime we started the program to teach English in the youth prisons of Cali. It has been such a powerful project to help youth find their voice through the chance they are given to learn another language. None of them have finished high school and some are just learning how to read and write. Interaction in class helps them to become better communicators, team workers and fairer players. We firmly believe that all they need is a second chance to realize they can do way more than just crime. This work inspires us even more to continue to work with our children at the school because we can prevent from an early age that a child falls in the traps of poverty that could lead them to jail.

Our children prepared a beautiful song by singer Martha Gómez, dedicated to Colombia and our peace. Enjoy the song and the pictures that as usual we love to share with you.

Best regards,

Teacher Lily 

Juan Pablo designed his own notebook
Juan Pablo designed his own notebook
A message in English class
A message in English class
Cute preschoolers
Cute preschoolers
Community cooking pot during National Strike
Community cooking pot during National Strike
Elections of school president
Elections of school president
Teacher Adarley teaching English in a youth prison
Teacher Adarley teaching English in a youth prison

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Happy girl at our computer lab
Happy girl at our computer lab

Dear friends,

Our school year started in February and we are so excited to let you know that we are LITERALLY BACK AT SCHOOL!! It is such a great joy to see our students walk through the entrance and wave their parents good-bye while they head to their classrooms. 

Despite all the setbacks in 2020 because of COVID, we managed to overcome the situation and planned things out to make it possible to return to school three times a week for all K-5 grades. We equipped five classrooms with TV, internet connection and audio system in order to continue to use technology and stream classes for students who cannot come to school and we transformed our facilities so that classrooms would have more space between desks. Moreover, we trained our community in the protocol to keep safe from the virus.

It's already March and our plans for 2021 don't stop here. We have near 200 students enrolled this year in our school but we have two more projects to launch. One is our CULTURAL CENTER, a house that belonged to our founders family and was donated to be restored and turned into a hub of culture and arts not only for the children enrolled in our school but also for children and youth from the community. It will be called LA CASA AZUL so please look forward to a next report under that name.

The other project is hand to hand with the State to start teaching English in our city's Youth Detention Centers as a means to transform their time in confinement into a period of learning and growth on the way to freedom. A proverb says that learning a new language is having the opportunity to start a new life and we hope to witness this with our own eyes.

Thank you very much for your support.

Thank you very much for not giving up on us.

Thank you very much for feeling our mission.

We are ALL making this possible.

We pray for your families, health and well-being and may this year grow in abundance of life to all of you.

¡Saludos desde Colombia!

In English class now at school
In English class now at school
English class at home
English class at home
What can we say about happiness
What can we say about happiness
At the playground
At the playground
We welcomed our new English teacher from Bogota
We welcomed our new English teacher from Bogota
The school cat is also happy to see children again
The school cat is also happy to see children again
La Casa Azul, CULTURE in the heart of the hills
La Casa Azul, CULTURE in the heart of the hills
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Gabi is excited about her new tablet
Gabi is excited about her new tablet

Dear Friends,

Four months ago we reached out to you asking for help. We were in the middle of the pandemic trying to keep children enrolled in school and learning from home. But they had no access to computers or internet connection. Schools in our community were experiencing closures, up to 50% students dropouts and many teachers were being left without jobs.

But we knew we had to act and you JOINED US! We launched our campaign to raise funds to bring tablets, computers and internet connection to the homes of students whose families could not afford it. You responded rapidly and we purchased the first 6 tablets, then local companies donated more tablets and family and friends in the city started bringing in their used computers. It was amazing! Every time we called a mother to tell her we had a tablet for her daughter, she cried and laughed at the same time. 

All in all, we gave 26 TABLETS, 10 COMPUTERS and access to internet connection during six months for 12 families (that helped not only our students but their older siblings, cousins or parents going to school as well). In order to maximize our impact, we collected the devices this month in order to give them maintenance and hand them out again in January for the start of a new school year.

Thanks to YOU, our school dropout rate didn’t even reach 5% and we can gladly announce that our 160 students proudly finished their school year and are ready to start 2021! It is still sad though to see public schools closed and thousands of children in Colombia who missed a whole year of learning.

Last week we celebrated English day virtually. All of our children participated with songs, plays, and other performances showing us how much they learned this year. We are so proud of them!! You can see the streaming of our English Day in our Youtube Channel. 

We also want to share pictures of our graduation ceremony for fifth grade students. We wish them the best of lucks in their secondary education.

What can we say except THANK YOU! We pray your homes and lives be blessed, healthy and full of love. This year taught us we are in this world TOGETHER and only by walking together we can overcome. Whatever 2021 brings, let us be united and thankful for having the gift of life that we many times take for granted.

God bless,

Teacher Lili

Education Equity means having access to technology
Education Equity means having access to technology
Tablet + internet access for 6 months for a family
Tablet + internet access for 6 months for a family
A smile says it all
A smile says it all

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Dear friends and supporters,

We hope this message finds you well and healthy. Many things have happened since the last time we wrote back in March but we're glad to let you know that we are safe, our children and their families are OK and our community keeps moving towards CHANGE.

Four months ago we had to shut the school doors and move 100% to virtual teaching. It wasn't a fast change because we had to add extra training to our teachers, make sure that all of our 174 students- or most of them- had internet access at home and technological devices and also set a culture for online learning among the families. And we did it!! 

First we communicated with families using WhatsApp and Facebook because at the moment it was pretty much the only platforms that they were ready to use. Then we created student emails and trained our teachers in the use of Google Classroom and all the features of the G Suite. At the beginning we only communicated through voice calls or 2-3 student + teacher video calls and sent worksheets to be done at home.

Now we have set an ONLINE SCHEDULE to meet with our students THREE TIMES A WEEK on online classes through Google Meet. We have been doing this for over a month and it has helped tons with student motivation and engagement. They participate, talk to their classmates, get real-time feedback from their teachers and more than anything ADVANCE THEIR LEARNING! 

In spite of the good news, we have had 6% of school dropouts (which thankfully is lower the rate that has gotten up to 50% at some schools and nursery homes around us) and we have other 24 students who are experiencing learning loss whether it is for a lack of internet access and technology at home, because they are struggling students with learning disorders or have special learning conditions or simply because some families have found it difficult to deal with financial wellness plus extra study time at home withe their children.

We have had cooperation of local people and organizations through which we were able to supply 12 students with tablets and 3 students with internet connection for a year. But we need more in order to make sure that every single student in our school has ACCESS and that no DIGITAL GAP can get between them and their learning.

We thank sincerely all of our donors, both the one-time and recurring donors, who make it possible for us to invest in our children's future. 

THANK YOU!!

It is because of YOU that we can continue to MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!

We are aware that this is a global crisis and you and your communities might be living under similar circumstances so we really appreciate the fact that you take your time to read and give.

¡Muchas gracias!

Bendiciones para todxs,

Fundación ABLE

5 in 20 students have a computer at home
5 in 20 students have a computer at home
Students doing LIVE videos to share their skills
Students doing LIVE videos to share their skills
Food kits for 6k families from March to June
Food kits for 6k families from March to June
Dance class at home
Dance class at home
English class with kindergarten
English class with kindergarten
Prizes for students to keep motivated and engaged
Prizes for students to keep motivated and engaged
Class on the phone
Class on the phone
Home visits. We lent students desks to take home.
Home visits. We lent students desks to take home.
Students stop by the school to borrow books
Students stop by the school to borrow books
Online classes with international volunteers
Online classes with international volunteers
Pets are good companions for learning :)
Pets are good companions for learning :)
Students enjoy ART class
Students enjoy ART class
Gardening projects to learn at home
Gardening projects to learn at home
A smile for you :)
A smile for you :)

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Hearts and stars from first grade students
Hearts and stars from first grade students

In times of global turmoil this project report feels like a message of hope and strength to you, to us, to the GlobalGiving team and to all the children who are being affected by the crisis.

The last time we wrote was December and we were excited to tell you about the new construction project that was about to start. Well, it is now a reality! We have a second floor with three new classrooms that can turn into an auditorium and an improved kindergarten space. Thanks to this we grew 45 students this year, welcoming 174 children enrolled in the school in grades K-5. 

On February 1st we started classes with many new projects going on: music lessons, afterschool program, the inauguration of the computer lab and new partnerships for the wellbeing of our students. We share here some pictures of the different things we were able to do in this month-and-a-half period. Unfortunately last Friday we had the announcement from the government of Colombia that children wouldn’t be allowed to return to school until April 20th for now, and the possibility of extending that period if the situation worsens.(?)

We had heard before similar news from Europe and the United States but it hit us so fast it is surreal. This week the staff met and launched a plan to help children study from home. Since the population we serve is not highly trained in technology skills, we are using free, easy to use platforms that everybody knows: WhatsApp, Facebook, Youtube. Our teachers work hard everyday to plan the activities that children will do day by day and share it via WhatsApp. We also offer parents the chance to stop by the school to pick up a printed copy since most of them don’t have a computer or printer at home. By the end of the week we will send books from the library home so they can read individually for the next month. 

In the midst of it all we thank our children are safe, with loving families. We thank our teachers are healthy and that we live in a country with enough fruit and vegetables to keep us strong. We thank that in times of crisis there is always time to reinvent, discover, create… and get ready for go time later. We thank that this is forcing us to finally admit that technology is out there to help our teaching and expand children’s knowledge. We thank for the fathers, mothers and grandparents who have now the chance to become teachers. 

We would like to also announce that the Little by Little campaign starts next week! It is a great opportunity to maximize donations from unique donors and new monthly donations:

  • All eligible donations up to $50 per unique donor per organization will be matched at 50%
  • New monthly donations set up during this week will be eligible for both matches: the immediate 50% Little by Little match (up to $50) and, as long as the donation remains active for a minimum of four payments, the 100% monthly match (up to $200) https://www.globalgiving.org/march-2020-little-by-little-terms/

Can you please help us share the news and bring more people to support us, especially now that we need support to cover operational costs and keep creating strategies to help students learn from home.

We send you all our love and prayers.

Sincerely,

Lilibeydy Manrique

School director

We can see the hill from the second floor
We can see the hill from the second floor
Construction looking pretty as today
Construction looking pretty as today
Loving our wooden stairs
Loving our wooden stairs
Maria from fifth grade giving the school tour
Maria from fifth grade giving the school tour
Getting ready for painting
Getting ready for painting
Our students teaching English through stickers
Our students teaching English through stickers
PE class at the community park
PE class at the community park
International food fair in English Class
International food fair in English Class
Donations of shoes and school supplies for them
Donations of shoes and school supplies for them
Our volunteer was forced to return to the USA
Our volunteer was forced to return to the USA
Environmental project: vertical gardens
Environmental project: vertical gardens
Studying from home with the worksheets we send out
Studying from home with the worksheets we send out
Home school
Home school

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Organization Information

Fundacion ABLE

Location: Cali - Colombia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lafontainecali
Project Leader:
Lilibeydy Manrique
Cali, Colombia
$16,732 raised of $40,000 goal
 
226 donations
$23,268 to go
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