I don’t think anyone would argue with me saying preschool and kindergarten are important elements of our education system. They lay the groundwork for longer school days and teach children how to learn, as well as beginning education on basic reading, writing and math. They help teach children how to socialize, share, cooperate and create.
But did you know that preschool and kindergarten are not available around the globe? There are many communities that lack access to these essential education opportunities.
One of those communities is in Nicaragua, and parents in that community quickly learned it was a problem as surrounding communities began building schools. They realized their children were not reaching necessary education levels prior to their inclusion in the primary school system. So they did something about it.
The Community’s First Solution to an Education Problem
In 2013, a community volunteer began teaching children in a private home twice a week. But this was insufficient and made reaching all preschool and kindergarten aged children nearly impossible. The parents decided to build a structure, so they built a covering made of poles and titles, where children were able to receive classes.
The preschool in the community before receiving necessary materials from FH.
However, this too was insufficient as it did not protect the community well from the elements, and still did not offer enough space. Finally, last year, a community preschool and kindergarten became a reality after Food for the Hungry (FH) began working in the community.
FH staff trained community and religious leaders on community development, project management and capacity building. They aimed to empower and inspire leaders to take ownership for their community and work together to make their collective dreams a reality.
Mauricio stepped up to the plate to help his community construct a preschool.
Melixa joined her father in fighting for a preschool for their community. Now, Melixa is the teacher at the new preschool.
Community leader Mauricio really took this message to heart and realized he and his daughter Melixa had skills they could offer to both their community and to God as they served those who needed it.
Mauricio and his daughter dreamed of school that would help children reach their full potential. They became more and more convinced of the importance of starting education early. Then, he rallied his community and worked with Food for the Hungry staff to fix the problem.
Food for the Hungry Equips the Community for a Better Solution
At the end of 2016, FH approved a supply of materials for the construction of a classroom and the hiring of a contractor, but the community had to provide the labor. Mauricio was qualified and up to the task. During the day, he is a bricklayer and cabinetmaker. He and two of his colleagues stepped up to guide the community in the construction process.
Now the school is complete and provides education to 100 percent of pre-school aged children in the community, and Melixa is their teacher.
“The children are more comfortable because the place where they received classes was not appropriate,” Melixa said. “It was uncovered, made of sticks, with a part of zinc and another of tiles. Today all children are safe in school, now our job is for all parents to send them to class.”
The preschool after FH intervention.
But that’s not all.
The Impact of Cooperative Solutions
The community, in partnership with FH, has also prioritized repairs to all their education facilities. During the 2017 fiscal year, a total of 25 construction projects were completed at 24 schools. This has benefited over 2,000 students! These projects have focused on building latrines, improving water access and making classroom and infrastructure repairs. The children are now able to attend school in improved conditions, which in turn helps improve their learning.
Additionally, these projects have benefited the community as a whole as they have learned to creatively solve problems by working together. Praise God!
You can help bring this kind of miraculous change to communities around the globe too! Just click here.