Gender-based violence is a major problem in many places, and everybody needs to be part of the solution. In Dominica, boys and young men are learning about making good choices and respecting women and girls through ChildFund’s Shine a Light program. These boys, above, are showing the importance of cooperation by running a three-legged race. Read more here.
Children wearing masks at an Early Childhood Development center supported by ChildFund in western India. Photos by Saroj Pattnaik.
Today is the International Day of Happiness. Have a wonderful and happy day!
Peace Corps Volunteers Christelle Domercant and Ursula Wright recently practiced our Second Goal by sharing the story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with preschool students who are learning English in Costa Rica!
Last week, ChildFund Belarus, with the support of the Aflatoun International Secretariat, hosted a roundtable discussion on the financial and social education needs of children in the Republic of Belarus, where ChildFund has worked since 1993.
ChildFund specialists, representatives of Aflatoun International Secretariat (the Netherlands), National Institute of Education, National Bank of the Republic of Belarus, Association of Belarusian Banks, representatives of retraining institutes, NGOs and educational institutions attended the meeting held in Minsk.
Participants turned their attention to national priorities that call for development of financial and social literacy programs for children and improving financial literacy of the overall population.
Aflatoun, an international program that provides social and financial education for children from 6 to 18 years old, has worked well in other ChildFund-supported communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Attendees at the Belarus meeting agreed to form a working group with the goal of bringing the Aflatoun program to children in Belarus. It’s an important step in preparing these children to succeed in life.
I just met two great children, Gabriela and Gerson, 10 and 8, respectively. These two stood up in front of about 100 people and presented on ChildFund Guatemala’s “I Learn” project, during a special event held in the city of Quetzaltenango.
The “I Learn” project helps children succeed in school by focusing on “improving critical thinking and logic, math and communications skills through reading and writing” explains Julio Tuy, ChildFund manager of the K’iché area, one of the most impoverished areas of Guatemala.
School dropout is a big challenge in this country with great economic disparity. Children sometimes fall behind in learning because they face financial and logistical challenges that keep them from school. Many struggle to work and attend school at the same time. Children in rural areas typically travel long distances to school, and their families simply don’t have the financial resources to support them.
“Children who have fallen behind decide to drop out of school because they feel ashamed of being in a class with younger children who are learning faster,” adds Tuy. Through the “I Learn” project, ChildFund is helping ensure that children master critical basics and stay on track for their grade levels. This initiative is currently reaching more than 8,600 children around the country in 57 schools.
ChildFund has been able to expand the program across Guatemala, working through Ministry of Education alliances to incorporate the methodology into the curriculum. It’s a remarkable achievement. Even more impressive is seeing the skills that these interactive projects are developing in children, and how we are incorporating local cultural elements and materials into the learning process.
Gabriela and Gerson have clearly gained strong communication skills, as they spent a lot of time asking me questions and sharing their achievements and dreams. Both children proudly showed me medals they had won in mathematics and spelling contests in their province.
“When I grow up, I want to continue studying and be a president like you,” says Gabriela. (No, I didn’t prompt her!) Gerson wants to join the army to “help people, and be able to save them from thieves and bandits.”
Great children! I’m looking forward to meeting more as my Guatemalan journey continues this week.