We've now reached mid-term, the start of the rainy season. The past few months have welcomed a new Art teacher called Berenice to the Mal Pais School, who has lots of exciting ideas for the rest of the year including involving the students in an exterior mural on the main school building. Sara has started a dance class at the school to prepare for the annual Art Fair and her evening classes and daily classes are not only popular but we're seeing great results.
After the big renovation at Mal Pais School last year, the flag is now flying proudly at the school gate. Luckily this school has motivated staff, students and community members to keep it looking its best.
A vegetable garden designed by staff and students is already underway providing another extracurricular activity for the students to enjoy! We’re still looking for a Physical Education and Music teacher volunteer...but we're certainly moving in the right direction.
The project also recently donated funds to Santa Teresa School to help with the purchase of a school playground and many local donors have helped with these new renovations at the school. A big clean up was necessary at both schools - with the rain comes the fear of Dengue and a simple clean up can save lives!
The project would also like to help a new bilingual non-profit school in Cobano with their future goals of having 1/3 of the students on full scholarships and organizing additional programs with the Public Schools with shared resources and volunteers.
The Mal Pais Kinder program has been well received and we already have many new sponsor children waiting to start in 2013. The goal is to continue sponsoring several of these children after they finish our kinder program, by securing and financing scholarships at the bilingual school in Cobano.
In mid-February of this year the Public Schools re-opened their doors and both Mal Pais and St Teresa School welcomed many new excited students. St Teresa's has been busy in the holidays with lots of changes to the school grounds, a new classroom has been built and the project will support the school to have it painted. In the Mal Pais School, Sara, our ESL teacher has kindly volunteered to teach for 2012 and we now have another volunteer called Heather, whose skills are fabulous with the younger students. Sara's adult ESL evening classes were so popular last year that she now runs them twice a week. We are currently looking for a new volunteer for the Art program at the Mal Pais School, classes were very popular in 2011 and another volunteer would be a great help. A new kinder program was set up this year in Mal Pais; the project has been able to award scholarship to 11 students and hopes to continue through 2013. We are still hoping to build a new classroom in Mal Pais and start a small library.
We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.
We are delighted to share that this has been by far our most successful period, raising in six months nearly as much as we did the whole of the previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.
During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America including support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now realise their goal of seeing impoverished students through to completion of the primary education earning recognised qualifications for the first time.
These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.
Our August Carnival fundraiser had a real community feel, with locals and foreigners all volunteering to support the public school of Mal Pais. Waterslides were rented from the city and the reaction from the local children and students was fantastic! Local bands volunteered to rock the crowd and parents kept refreshments flowing throughout the day. For the most part the skies were clear and a good time were had by all! The event was a fundraiser success, with thanks to a generous donation of a contract crew for over 2 months, the proceeds were able to be stretched to pay for the schools extensive infrastructure repairs. The results are truly amazing! Finally kitchen cupboards and a safe place outside to house the gas tank, a waterproof space for the children to have ESL and eat lunch, a full exterior re-paint and a good deal of repairs before hand, drainage ditches, plumbing, lunch tables, electrical repairs and much more! With the infrastructure repair box checked and school safety addressed, we are excited to direct our attention towards making sure these students receive a full basic education. This year the students have had many more school days than last and with the ESL and Art classes in full swing, the foundation for 2012 is already in play. The ESL students under Sara's guide have become confident and eager learners, children who previously had repeated a grade are starting to improve with their national studies. This alone gives us the belief that the project can and will make a positive difference for these young students futures.
This year two students were chosen to represent Mal Pais School in the national Art Festival. Klarissa steidenstiker Garica, grade 6, and Tydus Danchik, grade 3. They both produced two pieces of fine Art, the open title that they were first judged on and then the set title of: My School. I'm very proud of all the Art students this year, and truly wish everyone could of entered a piece. But, I'm especially proud of Klarissa and my son Tydus, for the excellent effort they made for both of their pieces. The director of the school was so thrilled with their work he now wants it to be permanently displayed in the school.
I'm so excited about the new Art program and hope for a bigger budget to include music, dance and drama in the future. Mal Pais has some very talented students and we hope to be able to enter more events in the festival next year as well as keeping the students inspired and excited about Art!!!
Well done to all the budding Artists!!!
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