Graduation day fifth grade
As we write this report, 202 children walk around our school feeling so happy about being back to their classrooms, library, computer lab, park and all the fun of learning. It was two long years of waiting and now we go back to the new normal. We all have to get used to school again, learn the rules, get healthy habits, remember that we are not alone in this vast world. We wrapped up 2021 with 2 wonderful events, one of them was English Day which you can watch here. We also graduated 20 students to middle school. We are so proud of their achievements!
In our last report we told you a little about a project that started last April in the youth correctional centers of Cali where we have been teaching English to boys and girls who are in confinement. Through this project, a young man like Jhojan develops his linguistic skills and intercultural ability to reimagine his life using another language. There is a Persian proverb that goes: A new language is a new life, and so we believe. In English class they learn songs with empowering messages, they learn about world leaders, they discuss about movies, they read, they interact with other partners using respectful language. All of this creates a positive atmosphere for learning and thus thriving despite their past or their context.
Most of this youth are victims of the armed conflict in Colombia, they come from empoverished neighborhoods and broken familes. One of them video calls her mom who is also imprisoned. Another one committed a crime against his uncle who murdered his father when he was a little five-year-old boy. One of them uses drugs since she was 6. Poignant stories like these surround their lives. Through the opportunities they get while in confinement such as finishing their school, learning arts, music, English, and having therapy, they can nurture themselves and build the power they need to face the world again and hopefully turn their back on crime.
Once again, thank you for your support and a big shoutout to our 7 monthly donors who have embraced this mission as their own. Together we are changing the course of many lives of children and youth through education.
Blessings to you all.
Kindergarten student at her graduation ceremony
Our children's choir singing A million dreams
We love our team
Students in the youth prison