I hope all is well with you. As 2022, our 20th Anniversary, draws to a close it is worth reflecting on what has been a year of rebuilding after the pandemic with full classrooms and sharing with you our plans for 2023 and the years ahead.
Access to full-time education from primary school to university will always be our number one priority though we are also aware that in times of hardship, employment opportunities are scarce even with an education. The pandemic, the effects of climate change which for years have been plain to see where we work and the current cost of living crisis are prime examples of these additional real-life obstacles facing our communities who already live with extreme difficulties.
The implementation of sustainable family and community income plans is key to ensuring independent economic stability no matter how the macro environment is faring and, after education, will be a priority for our work over the coming years.
We have learned so much over the past twenty years in Latin America, the highs and the lows and we plan to use this extensive knowledge we have garnered to benefit not only the communities where we currently work though also to implement new projects in other communities. The goal is the same wherever: sustainable full education and economic security.
Full classes were held throughout the year for children from four rural Andean communities in Ecuador and we were able to celebrate full cultural celebrations for the first tie since the pandemic including Pawkar Raymi (asking Pachamama – Mother Earth – for a good harvest), Fanesca over Easter, Mother’s Day, graduate trips in July, colada morada for Day of the Dead and of course, Christmas!
We were also able to restart the implementation of Plan Moo whereby we buy milking cows which are looked after by local families and the income generated by milk and future calves’ milk is shared between them and the school’s costs. Plan Moo has been an essential part of our secondary school and college programme since 2008 and bringing more students into the scheme is paramount for the future of the communities.
We will continue with our six local teachers in 2023 in the central school for the four communities. We plan to increase the Plan Moo herd to help sustainably cover their salaries in the future. We also plan to implement Plan Cuy and Plan Huerto in the communities to ensure further income for the families and the school.
The process of identifying new communities to work with in the coming years is also underway whereby extra teachers in the local schools will be paid for from the income of sustainable community income plans, ensuring their future from the start.
Thank you so much to you all for helping us get this far and we hope you will continue to support our work for years to come as we face the known and unknown issues facing Latin American communities now and in the future.
Have a fantastic 2023 and thank you all once again.
Classes have restarted for the new academic year in Ecuador where we continue to pay for local teachers and maintaining one teacher per class. We will also continue to pay for internet in the school and running costs including cleaning products to keep the classrooms as safe as possible as the pandemic continues.
We have resumed purchasing cows in Plan Moo which will sustainably cover the teachers’ salaries in the coming years. Over the course of the coming months we plan to add to our herd which not only will provide income for the school and its costs though also additional income for local families who will look after the cows and share in the proceeds.
We currently educate children from four different communities. Once these costs are covered sustainably we plan to replicate our work in other communities in the region to offer education to many more children and teenagers.
This year The Phoenix Projects are celebrating twenty years in Latin America and thanks to you around five thousand children, teenagers and adults have been able to receive a quality education during this time in Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Perú and previously in Brazil, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
We have built schools, extra classrooms, kitchens and energy efficient stoves, provided employment for dozens of local people, planted hundreds of thousands of trees, distributed educational materials, daily meals and hundreds of tonnes of fruit and implemented sustainable income plans on an average annual budget of around $100,000/£85,000.
Additionally, over three hundred families have benefitted from the implementation of sustainable income plans including cows, chickens, weaving, vegetables and small businesses.
To celebrate our 20th Anniversary we are launching this year’s Appeal today and all donations up to $50/£40 through this page will be matched at 50% by GlobalGiving from Monday 12th September - today - until Friday 16th September. Larger donations can of course be made although the matching will only apply to the first $50/£40 and only once per individual donor.
We still have so much more we want to do over the coming years with the experience we have gained, including replicating the projects in other communities with sustainable plans covering running costs from the start.
Your continued support in helping to fund local teachers’ salaries and scholarships, school materials, food and sustainable income plans is as important now as it has been in the last twenty years.
We realise that times are uncertain though anything you can donate to the Appeal through this page this week to take advantage of the 50% matching will help us start the next twenty years in the best possible way!
Thank you so much in advance.
The school year drew to a close this month with all the students graduating or passing on to the next grade. Due to the recent social unrest and national strikes in Ecuador caused by rising living costs the local teachers were unable to travel up to the school for the last two weeks of term so between our local teachers who live in the communities themselves and another teacher who stayed up in the community for the duration of the exams, the students were able to successfully finish the year. As a graduation celebration we paid for the students to take a day out on Lake San Pablo and enjoy a hearty meal. We also celebrated Mother’s Day and Day of the child with plenty of dance and food. Over the coming months we plan to invest in more sustainable plans including Plan Moo and Plan Cuy to help to generate income for the schools and the families; something critical in this time of rising living costs.
For all our donors who live in Ireland, Wales and England we are arranging some individual day fundraising hikes and events in September including Dublin on 17th, Kinsale on 19th, Anglesey on 22nd, Chester on 24th and The Peak District on 26th. If you happen to be in the area and want to join us please do get in touch by replying to this email or heading to the website link at the bottom of this page. As we strive to regain our momentum and funding post-pandemic, fundraising events play such a key role so if you have any in mind, no matter how small or big, please do let us know and thank you so much.
We already have the dates for our major charity challenges in 2023 including The Lost City challenge in Colombia between 6-13th May and the Inca Trail in Perú between 8-15th July. If you are interested in either please do get in touch by replying to this email or following the 2023 Charity Challenges link at the bottom of the page.
Thank you all for your continued brilliant support, without which our work would be impossible. We realise the current cost of living crisis has added to the hardships of the past couple of years so everything you can continue to do to support our work is very much appreciated – thank you!
I hope all is well with you. To give us a huge boost this week (Monday 4th to Friday 8th April) GlobalGiving will be 50% matching all individual donations to this page of up to $50 which is a fantastic opportunity for the projects as we aim to recover from the past two years and build towards a better sustainable future. If you can it would be fantastic if you could donate this week and your donation will go even further.
With 2022 now three months old it is already very different to the previous two years with all the students back in the classroom finally. We are aiming to maintain all the classrooms secure for daily teaching with cleaning products available. Looking ahead donations permitting, whilst continuing to cover our daily costs of the projects, we aim to make a concerted effort to implement family sustainable income plans with small enterprises over the coming months. Thanks to your continued support we have managed to keep the projects going through these hard times and once again, with your donations, we hope to be in a position to move forwards with confidence – thank you!
Classes restarted the second half of the school year in January. Whilst all the other grades returned to full-time daily classes the little ones will continue to come to school two to three times a week for the time being. Pawker Raymi was celebrated asking Pachamama (Mother Earth) for a successful growing season and harvest. It is very important for the community to continue with these traditions stretching back over hundreds of years.
Once the school year finishes in June we will turn our attention to investing in a wide range of sustainable family income enterprises. This extra income will help with daily costs like food which cannot be grown, medicines and extra school supplies as well as further education costs. Our aim is that all education up to and including University will be covered in the communities with these sustainable plans.
All the best for April and thank you in advance for your continued support.
As 2021 draws to a close we would like to thank first and foremost all our local teachers for continuing to teach the students to the best of their ability with the resources available, whether this was in limited classroom-based environments or heading out to their homes when they could to give out and collect homework and set topics in the students’ textbooks. Thank you also to everyone who has supported the projects this year in what has once again been a very difficult time all round.
Our first priority is obviously to keep the projects going and the students educated. Once this has been achieved we can start implementing more sustainable income plans with the families which will provide them, and the schools, with continued income into the future.
We celebrated Christmas for all the members of the four communities where we work, from the youngest to the oldest - a stark contrast from this time last year. All the children and community members are now double-vaccinated so classes should be able to continue in 2022.
We will continue with our seven local teachers as each class now has a teacher which was our aim from when we started back in 2005! Over the coming months we hope to invest in many new sustainable plans in the four communities where we work to help cover the costs of the school, in particular in Plan Moo and Plan Cuy which have already helped to cover secondary, college and University costs for the past several years.
We will also be supplying sufficient biosecurity products to keep the classrooms and schools as safe as possible each day as well keeping up with our food programmes, help for the elderly when we can and planting over 1,000 trees to reduce the carbon footprint of the daily transport of the projects thanks to the Appeal.
Thank you all once again for your continued support and all the best for 2022
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