Child learning from home with the help of his mom.
We truly could never have imagined the challenges that we’ve faced over the past three years, and since the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in-country in late March, Fabretto has been engaged in a process of constant reinvention and reimagination of what education can look like in Nicaragua during this crisis.
We work in some of the most vulnerable communities across the country, in rural, semi-rural and urban settings. Many have very limited internet access, and some even lack reliable phone service, running water and electricity. After a rapid diagnostic process of conditions for distance learning, our team began to shift to remote work and limited activities in the centers. By May, all of our programs had been converted to distance learning. Although our centers have been physically closed, our education programs for children and youth have continued through innovative and creative approaches, leveraging the digital resources available and lower-tech solutions such as printed materials and radio where necessary.
Despite these challenges, we have seen incredible opportunities emerge.
We have connected over 900 teachers to training in technology and innovation. We have seen teachers motivated to integrate technology in their classes, using tools like Google Classroom, creative communication through social networks, filming videos and developing other original resources for their students.
We see parents supporting learning from home, using their creativity to enhance the activities that teachers send through digital platforms or as printed study guides.
We have seen students go the distance to continue their education - I was personally moved by the stories of youth in our SAT rural education program on the Atlantic Coast, who live in extremely remote communities with limited phone service and electricity. We were able to provide the students with most economic need with tablets and mini-solar panels to connect. Some walk miles just to reach the closest spot to connect to mobile data, download information, and communicate with their teachers and classmates. The dedication of the entire educational community - students, families, teachers, staff - has been incredible to witness.
To date, we have distributed over 6,000 kits of food provisions and hygiene supplies, such as masks, soap, and cleaning solutions, to families in need. As members of the local NicaSalud network, we have also worked to promote a campaign that provides communities with the information they need to protect themselves from the virus, promoting handwashing and good hygiene practices through virtual training sessions, brochures, and messaging to parents and teachers.
These are just a few examples of the ways that we have continued to serve communities in Nicaragua in 2020. Partnerships are more important than ever, and we are grateful for you and the many friends of Fabretto who have connected with us and supported our work this year.
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