Building the resilience of Helping Hands students to help them face unforeseen times like this is of utmost importance for our organisation. In July, we held an online workshop with all of our students and a psychologist to address some key points: how to adapt to adversity and keep a positive attitude, how to handle anxiety, uncertainty and grief.
This was our first online workshop and we were so excited to see them all after such a long time.
This has been an unusual year for those students in their last year of school. They have a key life decision to take and decide which path to follow in the coming years. Helping Hands wants to support them to make the best decisions. With this in mind, we held the workshop “Thinking about my future” with all of our older school students to reflect on their vocational aptitudes and how to decide from amongst various career options.
Jenny is an excellent student who is now finishing high school. She realises that choosing a career is an important decision in her life. As the pandemic has caused schools to close in Bolivia, and with few online lessons, she is studying and getting ready for admissions on her own. She has great expectations for her future. Jenny wants to be an accountant or a petroleum engineer. She pictures herself working in an office, talking and helping people and being able to have her own house where she can look after her siblings.
Melanie feels sad about finishing high school without seeing her friends. However, this young determined girl has already decided to study psychology. In her own words: “I want to leave a mark on the world and in someone´s life”. She believes that becoming a psychologist will allow her to help others and understand them. She expects to be remembered by the way she treats others.
TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE CHALLENGES OF ONLINE EDUCATION IN BOLIVIA
These are challenging times for education in Bolivia. Most families have not been able to afford internet connections despite their extraordinary efforts. Helping Hands has been supporting the students by covering internet costs; so far we have supported 67 students. We thank our partners and donors for helping our students to connect and be part of a virtual classroom again.
We are proud of our students who, despite the adversities, have managed to stay focused on their studies. Eighteen students this year have been awarded an increase in their scholarship due to their excellent academic performance. Congratulations!