This program accompanies youth (grades 7 to 12) through the period when they are most likely to leave school to support their families. It provides the support and coaching to help them complete school equipped with comprehensive skills and prepared to be grassroots community leaders. Our education initiative is integrated into the work of two organizations "La Jugarreta and Caminando Unidos".
For this vulnerable, marginalized population, educational stability is critical. We’ve been using a hybrid model since March 2020. We’ve delivered food, supplied daily breakfast and lunch, and worked with students virtually and in small groups. Students do not have equipment for virtual classes. Their parents do low-wage, informal jobs, and have no choice but to leave their children at home as they work.
In response to these challenges, we’ve designed "Walking Together towards Resilience.” Our goal is for 80 percent of the population to develop skills like speaking in public, giving opinions, making decisions, discussing and participating in the community, and self-care practices.
Walking Together towards Resilience includes:
a) Support with essential nutrition and personal hygiene items.
b) Strengthening healthy practices, including mindful eating.
c) Encouraging and supporting staying in school.
d) Promoting economic recovery.
Strengthening Student Retention
Despite many obstacles this year, the entire group successfully finished their studies. We expanded individual and family tutoring. With the need for technology, financial support became especially critical.
180 financial grants delivered
180 hours of individual tutoring
6 families trained in conflict resolution
70 percent maintained or improved their grade point average
100% completed their studies
4 graduates started university
8 graduates started high school
Strengthening skills development
Coexistence and learning spaces for adolescents:
11 youth workshops in life skills (self-care, teamwork, COVID prevention, life visions, community projects)
6 after-school workshops (literacy, literature, school support, swimming, and computers)
4 recreational events and field trips
Family coexistence relationships
Families were increasingly challenged in the pandemic. All members of the family were home longer, demanding negotiation of space. Mother particularly felt more responsible for their children’s education, causing some crisis. We supported families with parent workshops.
12 workshops for adults (life plan support, dialogue and mediation, positive parenting, teamwork, COVID prevention).
3 recreational events and walks
Young people as change agents
Young people of the third generation received training to carry out community projects, but did not complete them due to the mandatory “quarantine.” Still, they are very motivated to adapt and do them as soon as possible.
4 of the young people voluntarily promote community groups of play, participation, and reading.
67 direct beneficiaries
300 indirect beneficiaries
We use a community-based, participatory approach to oversee the comprehensive educational development of adolescents in vulnerable conditions, working with both youth and their families.
One-year, multiple challenges:
July 2020 marked the beginning of our program’s third generation. During the first semester, we accompanied 15 adolescents preparing for middle school, and second semester, we welcomed 15 teenagers just starting high school. Challenges included social isolation, concern for community health, and the economic crisis.
"While in the program, I have learned to use the computer, create masks, and I studied math, history, biology, and technology. What I have incorporated most is all I learned about computers. I like the many workshops, and the school support has also been very useful because when I do not understand something, the teacher explains it."
Marycarmen, 12 years old