In November, I toured communities where the Green Light (GL) education assistance program is active. Frankly, I was blown away by the enthusiasm of parents and their projects. This blog presents highlights.
The parents in the photo above are pretty enthusiastic about their project to raise money for school improvement projects such as a library, a garden of flowering plants and trees, and recycling. First, they planted corn, some of which they sold, and from the remainder they made a typical corn-based snack for sale. They used those funds to establish a library with internet and to plant flowers around their new school.
Their current project is to make and sell cleaning products. Several women took a course in SENA, Colombia’s technical institute, to learn the process. They had just begun to open for business when this photo was taken.
These types of projects are flourishing in the 17 communities in which the GL program is active. Each community decides on how to raise the funds required to establish a community library, plant school gardens, and encourage recycling.
LOCATION: ALBANIA, GUAJIRA
What are they holding in their hands? Articles made from recycled material!
The San Jose community constructed a library in which they engage preschool and primary students in the elaboration of decorative items made from recycled materials. These activities raise consciousness in the children and encourage creativity. But that’s not all! They also cultivate crops for sale such as hay and are building a kid’s park made of recycled tires.
Other Wayuu communities make and sell these traditional bags, called mochilas, to earn funds for their community projects. These are beautifully hand-crafted bags that resist the wear and tear of daily use.
The objective of the GL program is to keep students in school until graduation. Their incentive is a uniform kit that includes shoes and school supplies. In order to stay in the program, they are required to maintain a 75% average mark and their parents must be involved in the program. Each school has a facilitator, a volunteer from the community, that engages the families. They are the backbone success of the program. There are 820 children in the program this year.