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Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy

by Fundacion Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy
Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy

Fundación Escuela Nueva (FEN) is pleased to present this final report on the activities performed during 2017 as part of the project Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy.

As you might recall, the overall goal of this project is to implement an effective bottom-up, dissemination strategy to strengthen child centered active, participatory and cooperative learning, as well as democratic attitudes and behaviors of children and the educational community in general to strengthen social fabric.

Your generous support allowed us to perform valuable activities that have been contributing to achieve our goal. We take this opportunity to recap some of them:

  • On late February, we provided a set of 65 books intended to promote research and exploration skills in the students. This contribution helped them to strengthen their cultural identity and get familiar with foreign literary expressions through fascinating collections of myths and legends. 
  • As part of a contribution made from a US B-Corp, we hosted a photographer, James R., who visited a couple of schools targeted with this project. His worked opened our eyes to the story of Juan David, an 8-year boy who inspired us to continue working hard on our goal. Juan David successfully completed his 3rd grade in 2017 and is now ready to continue his path at Escuela Nueva San Gabriel.
  • How could we forget the story of Flor, our rural Escuela Nueva teacher in the Colombia’s coffee region? James also let us come closer to Flor’s valuable work. Read the full story on Cotopaxi's blog.
  • On late November, we were invited once again to collaborate with a US nonprofit organization to provide other schools with classroom libraries. This enables us to continue strengthening reading and writing skills in the first grades. Approximately 130 books will be delivered to the schools targeted with this project.

Finally, we want you to know that this project will be deactivated soon. We encourage you to make your final contribution to this project before January 15, 2018 and help the Escuela Nueva San Gabriel to receive the materials they need to complete their science learning corner.

Thank you once again for your contribution and commitment to our cause. We wish you happy holidays and please expect to hear back from us soon regarding our project for 2018.

Learn more about us at www.escuelanueva.org. Follow us on Facebook & Twitter, spread the word of our work with your friends and family and invite them to be peace builders!

What better way to continue keeping you up-to-date than through the eyes of the people we work with!

Name: Flor G. – Escuela Nueva teacher

Location: somewhere in the Colombian mountains

Why Flor?: She is an inspired teacher who empowers students and helps them to develop entrepreneurial skills. “I want my students to value what they have – que vean con amor lo que tienen”. Flor G.

How does Flor represent the Escuela Nueva model? She represents a value promoted by Escuela Nueva in Colombia: empowerment of children to make changes in their lives. “I have been teaching for the last 20 years. I used to implement the principles of the Unitary School before I started working with the Escuela Nueva model”. Flor G.

-Story telling content and photos by James R., Ambassador, Cotopaxi, e-commerce B Corp commitment to FEN’s cause since 2016-

“Surrounded by thick jungle vegetation, the school looks just like the numerous other simple rural Colombian schools I’ve visited recently - one classroom, a cafeteria, and a large playground.  But by the end of my visit, I’d learn that this school is anything but simple.  

Upon seeing us, a big smile lights up across Flor’s face.  Flor, the mastermind behind the school’s ingenuity, is eager to show us what she and her students are up to.

The tour starts at a booth where students knit clothes, make jewelry, and use recycled materials to create art pieces.  Afterwards, I watch as the group of students enter a large fenced in area and then scatter. Some begin feeding chickens while the others hunt for laid eggs. The tour continues to a hog pen. Then a man made fish pond. Then a huge garden full of beets, onions, and other greens.  All the while, the students tend to the projects enthusiastically.     

So do these students ever actually go to school, I ask myself half serious. The answer is a resounding yes, as Flor explains the rhyme and reason.  

Like many other rural regions throughout the world, urban migration has had a big impact on Flor’s community. Located in the coffee growing region of Colombia, large corporations are buying up land to produce their coffee and in essence, squeezing out the locals. Families are flocking to urban areas in hopes of better jobs and opportunities, and in Flor’s opinion, leaving their culture and heritage back in the countryside.  

But she doesn’t think it has to be this way.  

So with flexibility inherent to the Escuela Nueva model and an impressive amount of energy, creativity and passion, Flor has chosen her school to be one of a kind - providing students with both a classroom education and a healthy dose of experiential learning.  Activities like planting red beans, harvesting coffee, and making recipe books gives the students practical skills, enables them to appreciate their culture, and feel inspired to stay and find economic opportunities in the region.   

That is all nice but I can’t help but wonder if the students are losing valuable school time to learn skills they may never need to know?

As if she’s been asked this countless times before, Flor responds with a slew of succinct connections. She has carefully designed each project to correspond to an educational lesson. The gardens are an obvious hands-on science experiment learning about plant life, soil selection, growing variables, etc.  And those eggs the students were collecting are a continual math lesson - counting eggs, weighing them, categorizing them, selling them at a local farmers market, etc. Writing a recipe book requires creative writing skills. Working together requires a variety of social skills such as team work, patience, communication, and ethics - all key values promoted by the FEN.  

To top it all off, any goods sold to the public generate a revenue, albeit modest, for each student.  So far it’s not enough to drastically impact their lives, but it’s enough for a new pair of shoes or a fun activity that they may not otherwise afford. 

So will Flor’s efforts result in a decrease in urban migration? It’s hard to say for certain at this point but what is clear, is the quality of education the students are receiving thanks to her passion and adaptability of FEN’s educational model.  

As I leave for the day, I notice some turkeys taking shelter under the playground’s slide.  Clearly, they’re part of yet another project I didn’t have time to ask Flor about”.     

Help us to support other teachers like Flor! You can donate by clicking here. Every dollar counts and has the power to transform lives!

Learn more about us at www.escuelanueva.org.Follow us on Facebook & Twitter, spread the word of our work with your friends and family and invite them to be peace builders!

We take this opportunity to share with you the story of Juan David, an 8-year boy we met in Salento - Quindío during our most recent visit to the schools targeted with this project. Juan David’s childish smile and polite manners with their peers caught our attention since the first day.

It seemed to be a typical day of work in the field when Mariana, the teacher at Escuela San Gabriel, came to us and inquired if we had time to talk to a mother who had come to the school by herself when she heard about our visit. Diana, Juan David’s mother who is studying to be a teacher, impressed us so much because of her determination. Since the beginning, Diana mentioned Juan David’s experience when he got sick, missed school for a few weeks, and did not get the first place in class. It hurt his confidence. In Diana’s words, “Juan David experienced pressure to be N° 1 in class because of the highly competitive environment of the school he attended at that time and the lack of support of his teacher.”. Diana also mentioned a couple of situations in which older students intimidated her son. She remembered the day Juan David stopped sleeping well. This encouraged her to find another school for him.

Juan David has been attending an Escuela Nueva School since January. Diana sees the progress in his level of confidence. He is still shy but opening up gradually! Diana wants to teach with the Escuela Nueva model.  Juan David is really enjoying school more, not necessarily proclaiming "this is better", but Diana can tell.  He is not as concerned about his report card. 

Just a few months with Escuela Nueva has already had a positive influence on him! 

Help us to continue bringing relevant and quality education to Juan David and his peers!

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter, spread the word of our work with your friends and family and invite them to be peace builders!

Escuela Nueva aims to prepare students for life
Escuela Nueva aims to prepare students for life
Each child is an agent of change
Each child is an agent of change
Collection of African myths and legends
Collection of African myths and legends

Project name: Quality Education for Peace-building and Democracy

Reporting Period: December, 2016 – February, 2017

Funds raised so far: $210 of $20,000

Dear Donor, 

Several actors of the Colombian civil society continue joining efforts to mobilize resources to build a culture of peace in the country, especially for the forthcoming Colombian post-conflict -in which many youths should be effectively incorporated to the society. Over the years, Fundación Escuela Nueva has been playing a key role to promote equal opportunities for the rural sector through quality education.

As you might recall, the overall goal of this project is to implement an effective bottom-up, dissemination strategy to strengthen child centered active, participatory and cooperative learning, as well as democratic attitudes and behaviors of children and the educational community in general to strengthen social fabric.

  • This report describes the project’s key activities performed since late January, 2017 when the official school calendar started in Colombia.Despite the project has not been fully funded, Fundación Escuela Nueva provided a set of 65 books of children literature to the 5 schools targeted with the project. One fifth of the total books provided (325) were attributed to the $210 raised so far -in which your generous support made the difference. The remaining books were provided with the support of a US Foundation.
  • The provision of a set of 65 books aims to promote research and exploration skills in the students. The books were carefully selected in accordance to the children’s needs. All of them help students to strengthen their cultural identity, perform scientific experiments, get familiar with foreign literary expressions through fascinating collections of myths and legends.  
  • Testimonials from students will be gathered and shared with you in the second quarter of 2017. 
  • Fundación Escuela Nueva continues mobilizing efforts to find matching funds with B-Corp companies and Foundations based in the United States. As a result of this, an e-commerce startup has pledged $15,000 that will enable us to move things forward before the end of the second quarter of 2017 to set up the corresponding workshops to strengthen reading and writing skills in the first grades, as well as to provide social studies learning guides. However, we still need funds to provide resources for the learning corners to bring alive the activities in the learning guides. One of our teachers, Mariana Padilla, from a rural school in the Colombia’s coffee region really needs a microscope to develop science experiments with students. Let’s join efforts to help Mariana and other teachers to improve their practices!  

Finally, we do want to express our most sincere gratitude for your contribution and commitment to our cause!

Collection of African myths and legends
Collection of African myths and legends
Books of love letters
Books of love letters
Books of love letters
Books of love letters
 

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Organization Information

Fundacion Escuela Nueva Volvamos a la Gente

Location: Bogota, Bogota DC - Colombia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Escuela_Nueva
Project Leader:
Comunicaciones FEN
Bogota, Bogota DC Colombia

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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