Happy Fall everyone! As the leaves change with the passing season for those of us in the northern hemisphere, so too do our project partners. We are thrilled to share these changes with you!
Los Patojos - Jocotenango, Guatemala
Los Patojos recently celebrated their 7th anniversary with over 350 family members, friends, children, youth, and community beneficiaries!
According to Juan Enrique Quiñónez, a youth development specialist for the United Nation's Children's Fund, Guatemala has the highest rate of children outside of the school system. This greatly limits their future opportunities and the growth of the nation. Thanks to JustWorld International, Los Patojos can secure the enrollment of 144 children in their after-school programs to reinforce primary education, to explore the arts, and to provide necessary scholarships so these children have access to school and can perform (school uniforms, books, writing utensils, etc). Over 100 children and youth participate in youth development programs such as theatre, civic participation, and dance (breakdancing and ballet).
In the past few months, Los Patojos has received multiple recognitions on the national and international level, including invitations to regional forums on youth development, opportunities to speak at universities, welcoming university students to Jocotenango to present the Los Patojos educational and youth development methodology, and consistent write ups in local newspapers.
The Bboys breakdancing group made up of 45 youth was invited to participate in a national competition held in Guatemala City. Fifteen children and youth from the ballet and theatre groups performed in September for the Institute for Spanish Cooperation in Antigua. Their performance emphasized the current social state of Guatemala using realism as a lens.
Los Patojos continues to update its monitoring and evaluation methods. In August, they worked with a volunteer doctor to improve the health records of children actively enrolled in the program.
Compartir - Tegucigalpa, Honduras
The Asociación Compartir recently celebrated their 22nd anniversary. They are JWI's first and longest running project partner, since 2003.
Thanks to JWI, Compartir reaches 2,890 children in the peripheral communities of Tegucigalpa, Honduras with the mobile library. The mobile library is more than a vehicle with books. It is a community center, a meeting place, and a mobile school. Because of this, Compartir was invited to Guatemala City to present during a conference on integrating libraries as part of community development initiatives throughout Central America. The response was astounding. As other library representatives met and learned about each model, Compartir was recognized above the rest. The mobile library, literally, picks up, moves on, and sets back up in any open community space. The four-wheel drive allows it to reach the far corners of neglected dirt roads. The JWI funded Community Outreach Leader and eight tutors expand Compartir's reach even further.
Thanks to JWI, in the past three months Compartir has held four community fairs giving over 2,890 children and youth and their families and community members the opportunity to come together for an entire day in celebration of their culture, of books, and science. Recently JWI funded the costs for 100 children to attend an international travelling circus passing through Tegucigalpa. Be sure to check out the photo with their faces full of wonder and surprise!
People Improvement Organization (PIO) - Phnom Penh, Cambodia
At 97%, PIO's retention rate surpasses what most "developed" nations' schools boast. PIO students were recently on holiday but that did not stop 45 children who continued to attend English and Photoshop classes.
Thanks to JWI supporters, 800 PIO students recently received school uniforms, backpacks, flip flops, and school supplies for a new school year. The handing out of this gear is always a celebration full of happy faces.
The Cambodian government recently ran a report on the state of education in Cambodia and the nation's five-year strategy to improve education. The results left much to be desired; however, the importance of non-profits - such as PIO - in providing education in a post-conflict developing society became apparent. For instance, non-profits are mostly immune to the current corruption in the public school system such as teachers demanding a "study fee" from students. What is less clear is to what extent non-profits are contributing to education in Cambodia. According to PIO's Project Supervisor, the government focused very little on the non-profit sector's role in Cambodia's education but after this recent study, he hopes this will change. The government's report and education strategy made him realize "just how essential the work of PIO and other quality NGOs are in ensuring that disadvantaged children receive good education."
Thank you for taking the time to read this update. To all of our past and current donors, we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your contribution to JWI's success with our project partners in bringing well-being in to the lives of children around the world.
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