Together with the local non-profit organisation ConTextos, the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation completed an education project in El Salvador before the end of 2022. The heart of this project is the new, lovingly furnished reading area with books and learning materials.
“This room was not being used before – now we are very grateful to have a reading corner to fill the empty space. And for the support we have received through the project. We are aware that an investment in children and youth is an investment in the future,” says Gloria Barahona. She is the mayor of Torola – a municipality in the Morazan region of El Salvador, where the education project run by ConTextos and the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation has been successfully implemented, along with the municipalities of San Fernando, Jocoaitique, Perquin, Arambala and Meanguera.
Morazan is one of the poorest regions in the country, and this has an impact on the daily lives of the children and young people who live there: often, work at home seems to be more urgent than learning at school. Pregnancy at an early age and domestic violence are also not unusual. This reality was one of the reasons for launching the project “1 escuela, 1000 historias”. As the name suggests (translated “one school, a thousand stories”), education is the focus of the project. For instance, we have created reading corners with books and maths games where the children and adolescents can learn in a relaxed atmosphere and practice their reading and writing skills as well as logical thinking. On top of this, three community libraries have been built and teaching materials purchased, a tutoring programme has been launched and teachers, head teachers and parents have been trained in various areas. The teacher training promoted gender equality and encouraged teachers to challenge gender stereotypes, among other things, and the 52 school headmasters improved their management skills.
This in turn helps to develop the skills of the 2441 pupils in areas such as critical thinking, teamwork and inclusive education. Oseas, who is in year 4, is one of them. He is as enthusiastic about the project as his mother: “My son told me about the methods used by the ConTextos staff in teaching his class. He loves attending these classes.”
After the “1 escuela, 1000 historias” project was completed, a follow-up project, which will last until 2025, was started seamlessly.