It's a bit hard to believe that we are almost to the middle of 2021. Here at Amun Shea we continue to push through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students came back to school in person on April 6th and, oh, what fun it has been! But it has also been a challenge as we continue to face the realities of an ongoing pandemic and remain in major need of financial support--but more on that a little later. Let's get into some good news!
Have you heard? We were in the news! Amún Shéa students were recently featured in Prensita of La Prensa Gráfica in El Salvador as Earth Heroes! This feature is a testament to the hard work our students, teachers, and staff do every day in honor of climate action and generating real change in rural El Salvador. Check out the images below.
We've also made a concerted effort to strengthen our presence in social media. Please be sure to follow our accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The more followers we have, the better--so please share with your family and friends as well. You can find us on all platforms via @peofelsalvador.
Speaking of social media, please check out our Instagram account where we have featured our students' recent participation in a photovoice project centered on ecological consciousness. Through photo artwork in collaboration with FLASCO and UNICEF El Salvador, Amún Shéa students showcased their knowledge, talent, and skills while addressing the tough reality of a changing climate and environment degradation and those most affected by this reality--communities living in poor, rural areas.
Aligned with our school's focus on ecological consciousness to inspire innovative solutions, we were able to raise $2,050 during the Climate Action Campaign here on GlobalGiving. This campaign occurred on April 19-23rd where every donation of $100 USD or less per unique donor was 100% matched. This was our first year participating in this campaign and we're excited to participate next year if given the opportunity.
On another note, we've been making some important internal changes on the foundation side of things. One major change to note is our new mailing address. We are now based out of Delaware at 9135 Memory Rd, Greenwood, DE, 19950. Please send all mail correspondence to this new address.
Now here's a painful moment of honesty: Our fundraising has fallen substantially short since the start of the pandemic--in fact, the first quarter of 2021 has been hit the hardest. Even more, it has been a real challenge to self-generate funds on the ground due to pandemic restrictions. Nevertheless, our economic needs remain the same as past years, averaging a need of $10,000 USD monthly. Here at PEOF + Amún Shéa we are constantly growing and are always looking for more sustainable ways of funding. If you have any ideas or propositions, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued support of PEOF + Amún Shéa. Your support directly goes towards student tuition, meals, and materials, along with teacher and staff wages. More importantly, when you your support is an investment for a brighter future for families in rural Northern Morazán--a future full of innovative and responsible education, sustainable economic development, and life-changing opportunities.
May the showers of April continue to bring new blossoms moving forward.
peace & love,
Michelle, Ron, and the entire PEOF + Amún Shéa team
Well, friends, let us be honest: 2020 was a tough year. And with the global pandemic continuing, 2021 looks to be a challenging year, too. But, yet and still, we remain hopeful. We remain dedicated to our students, families, and communities in Northern Morazan, El Salvador. We continue to give our best as we challenge status quo and reimagine what rural education can and should be: education that produces real, tangible change for a brighter and healthier future. As we get started in this new year, we thought it to be appropriate to look back on some of our proudest achievements from 2020 as a source of motivation and encouragement. All of these achievements were made possible with your continued support so this is a celebration of your generosity as well. Will you celebrate with us?
Despite its challenges in 2020, we were able to care for our students and keep the innovative learning going strong. We look onto this new year of 2021 with positive energy and so much motivation to keep pushing. Your continued support keeps us going. Thank you for all that you do. Together, we can grow bigger and better in 2021. Adelante, Amún Shéa! To learn more about us, check out our page and subscribe. You can finds us on Facebook, too :)
Michelle, Ron, and the entire PEOF + Amún Shéa team
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect us here at Amun Shea in El Salvador. Our students continue to learn from home as they are accompanied by dedicated teachers virtually and through guided learning packets for the many students without access to the internet. With the rainy season coming to an end, we hope that the continued interruptions in internet stability will be resolved. This is the reality of rural education here in Northern Morazan, El Salvador in the 21st century. Perhaps this situation is akin to the many schools that find themselves in low-resource, rural areas throughout the world. Nevertheless, we keep pushing forward.
We continue our commitment to improving rural education throughout Northern Morazan, not just here at Amun Shea, through our partnership with the Ministry of Education (MINED). We are entering our final months of this partnership and will present final results as they become available.
Recently, we asked our students to share their perspective of the COVID-19 pandemic through photographs. Here is what they shared:
Faced with the emergency by COVID-19, uncertainty arises in the heart of humanity. We are currently facing a situation that tests our life skills and as Amún Shéa today our commitment grows, our efforts unite to guarantee the educational quality in the rural areas of the country.
As PEOF for many years we have joined efforts with the Ministry of Education with the objective of guaranteeing a pertinent rural education in the northern area of the department of Morazán, it has been possible to incorporate the methodology of Problem Based Learning in the eight schools that make up the System Integrated of Perquín (SIPER), literacy alternatives such as the Global Functional Communicative Method, multi-grade classroom strategy, incorporation of productive systems through school gardens, learning life skills.
The conditions of the municipality of Perquín are different from those of the rest of the country, the difficulty is not only to access territorially but also the limitations to innovate in education using technological tools, the internet and electronic devices. Now, given the emergency, the challenges in the eight SIPER schools have increased.
There is a team of 59 teachers who strive to keep in touch with the 1,300 students who receive classes in different Educational Centers in the municipality of Perquín, some without internet access in their entirety, with difficulties for the telephone signal, among other difficulties that mean a Pleasant in a moment of crisis where it is essential to have a device with internet to receive your classes.
A good part of the student population is receiving their virtual classes but the most disadvantaged are looking for alternatives, we are very pleased that there are committed teachers and even with all the limitations, they are doing their best to guarantee pertinent rural education.
Let us know their experiences:
Joya de Talchiga School Center, Educational Center located in the border area with Honduras, does not have access to transportation, internet and some resources such as energy are limited and the access they have has been thanks to the effort of the community.
Carolina Martínez, director of the Joya de Talchiga School Center “We have prepared guides through the multigrade strategy, because this is how we were working throughout the year, we provide books to the students and as director I go out house by house to deliver the weekly guides” because of a total of 40 children we serve, only two have access to WhatsApp at home through their parents' devices. It is not easy for us but we are doing it. ”
The efforts are great, we are proud of the effort that each teacher is making, our commitment as a foundation is to be able to continue providing support in the different processes, to work together, to unify efforts, ideas and strategies so that the school year of the fruits that we set ourselves in january.
Elizabeth Vigil, director of the El Chagüitón School Center "We are facing great challenges, the conditions of our children are different from the urban areas of the country where there is greater accessibility to the internet or tools such as a computer or a smartphone, many of the parents do not know how to read and write, so helping children children is a very difficult task for them ”.
Now our challenge is to revolutionize education in a digital way, it will not be easy but even from home we are looking for alternatives that allow us to generate optimal learning spaces, always under the methodology of Problem-Based Learning. The Amún Shéa team is generating learning experiences through various means, in a personalized way, attending to the conditions of each child, their learning rhythms.
We know that today we must look for alternatives to adapt and it will not be an easy task, but these years we have built a path by which to walk, as a strengthened system that takes slow but safe steps, trained teachers, strategies implemented in the classroom, monitoring processes and follow-ups for the processes that we are guaranteeing even from home.
All this is possible thanks to your contribution, with your help we have managed to move forward here and now we know that education must be in constant change, innovation and commitment to always provide educational quality by whatever means possible.
High school students of the Amún Shéa Integral Development Center participated in the VII Meeting of Knowledge and Experiences in Organic Agriculture and Agroecology organized by the Foundation for Socioeconomic Development and Environmental Restoration, the students participated in the presentations and presented their research and experimentation projects to throughout its formative process.
The students participated with the topics: Structured water and seed adaptation, where they also presented a water sculptor made simply and with easily acquired materials, where they also answered questions from those attending the meeting.
They made known the importance and benefits that the use of structured water brings to the crops and how through different tests favorable results can be achieved in the crops, through the comparison between the plants that are treated from structured water giving To know its multiple advantages and benefits.
In this way the students use new technologies applied from the technical high school students in agribusiness and the learning acquired during the technical training in agroecology. Moreover, on this occasion they exposed the experience in the conditioning or adaptation of tomato seed to climatic conditions, which allows raising the productivity of crops in a sustainable way and facing changes in the environment more appropriately.
Students are part of the proper processes of the land for planting and therefore to keep the seeds free from the use of chemicals. Students in Amún Shéa experience and create learning spaces through practice, of which they share with local producers and become mentors of other students, promoting research in various areas but above all the opportunity to improve quality education in the north of Morazán.
The commitment of Amún Shéa goes beyond teaching students how to perform organic production, leads them to appropriate knowledge, that research allows them to develop agroecology activities and conservation of natural resources for a better use of them. In Amún Shéa we seek to build a lifestyle based on agroecology, from nursery students to those trained as agroecology technicians.
In Amún Shéa we believe that quality learning processes lead us to the development of the different communities and we are constantly seeking to strengthen these processes and transmit them to the students of the seven schools of the Perquín Integrated System.
To achieve this we need your support and at the same time we thank you for your support during this time and for contributing to the strengthening of educational quality in El Salvador.
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