How Save the Children support schools: A Parents Point of View

Mario Chungara. Asistente de Comunicación de Patrocinios. Cochabamba - Bolivia

Mario Chungara Yugar, Sponsorship Assistant

Bolivia

May 2014

 

 Because of the nature of my work, I am constantly in contact with members of the community. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak about Save the Children with a local school board president. Here’s what he told me:

 

“Hello, my name is Gumersindo Fuentes Ramirez. I am the parent of 4 children and have participated at my children’s school since 1996 when I became school board secretary. I’ve been president for 13 years.”

  Gumersindo helping out a sponsored child with her correspondence

“Save the Children came to our school with the proposal to improve the quality of education for our children. We started working together in August 2011. For us parents, the arrival of this organization has been a blessing.”

“Save the Children has given teaching skill workshops for teachers, and we have noticed that teachers seem more motivated and filled with new knowledge that is applied in their classrooms. We also had vitamin supplementation and children were taught the proper way to wash their hands. The presence of Save the Children has been very beneficial and valuable, creating significant change in our children’s lives and education.”

“We parents have been trained on children’s rights, against violence towards children and against family violence. This is very important because parents are changing the way they treat their children and are more understanding and caring.” Mom's at Family Center prepare nutritional food for their children

Gumercindo also pointed out the importance of Family Centers, implemented to promote development of children under 4, promoting bonding between mothers/caretakers and children. At the centers, children learn to be better prepared to transition into school, and mothers learn how to prepare nutritional food for their families. 

 

 

 

How does Save the Children support the Schools it works in?

Veronica Gonzales Quiroz Sponsorship Assistant

Verónica Gonzales Quiroz, Sponsorship Assistant

Bolivia

May 2014

 

 Interview with the Oruro School’s Administrator

My name is Veronica Gonzales Quiroz and I am a sponsorship assistant here in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk with one of our school’s administrators, Roberto Chapana Villegas, who wanted to share his opinion on the support provided by Save the Children since it started working with his school in August 2012.

School Administrator Roberto Villegas next to first aid kitMr. Chapana has been the administrator for Oruro Educational Unit School for more than 19 years. He told us he has gotten to know the work Save the Children carries out in various schools in Cochabamba.

Schools sign an agreement with Save the Children. The institution will provide support in order to improve the quality of education, by providing workshops where teachers can learn new teaching techniques that will be applied to children in their school.

Mr. Chapana remarks “I think it was a very wise decision, which we have felt and touched, both in theory and practice.” He also wanted to share with us that he participated in a “Handling and Use of First Aid Kits” workshop [first aid kit donated by Save the Children], since he is responsible for the school’s first aid kit.

He also commented that, since the school’s teachers and personnel have attended these workshops, he has seen an improvement in the quality of the education at his school, a strengthening of teaching skills and the use of new teaching methodologies such as Cuisenaire rods and the Doman Method. This change and improvement is ultimately reflected in the school's children who are now more interested in learning and participating in the classroom.

Teacher Betty Coca using the Doman Method with her students

Last year, Save the Children carried out various activities such as the celebration of Children’s Day and holding a children’s drawing contest. This is done in order to awaken talents and discover children’s abilities. These activities have pleased parents and made them aware of the benefits their children receive from Save the Children’s programs.

 

Gift for a Sponsor

Junima shakya

 Junima Shakya, Sponsorship Manager

Asanpur, Nepal

December 17, 2013

Friday is a fun day for children as classes run only for half a day. But Babita has a different reason behind her excitement. From early morning, she was excited to get to the Save the Children camp to write something for her sponsor. 

 

Babita with her gift for sponsorBabita is in 7th grade in a school supported by the sponsorship program in Asanpur village. After school, she rushed home, finished her afternoon snacks and reached the camp at 2:00 p.m.  

 

I was on a field trip to Babita’s village and had an opportunity to observe the camp. All the sponsored children from the surrounding area gathered to write something for their sponsors. Save the Children is collecting these messages and sending them to sponsors as gifts.

 

Babita waited eagerly for her turn. She wasn’t the only one who was excited. Other children looked very enthusiastic. Babita told me with a smile that she was going to make a drawing for her sponsor. She was planning to draw a nice red flower.

 

“I hope my friend abroad will be happy to see the flower I draw for her,” she says. She recalls receiving a letter from her sponsor. “I still have that letter with me,” she shares. “I hope once she receives the drawing I send her, she will write to me again.” Babita drawing for sponsor with sponsorship staff

 

I am happy Save the Children has initiated such writing from children to their sponsors. As I stood there, the air was filled with enthusiasm, giggles and joy. Their eagerness wasn’t just because they got to draw or make handprints on paper; the children were excited because it was an opportunity for them to connect with their valued sponsors.

 

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

For the Love of Children: Volunteer Community School Teacher in Lufwanyama

Agnes Zalila, Sponsorship Manager

 Agnes Zalila, Sponsorship Manager

Save the Children, Zambia

November 18, 2013

One would think that for you to teach others you must have been to a teachers college, received a certificate or a diploma and are employed by either the government or private sector. This is an ideal situation. But this is not so for many “teachers” in developing countries where thousands of children need education, yet do not have enough qualified, trained teachers.

 

Giliart at a teacher trainingThat’s why community members like Gilliart Soft Kanguye decided to volunteer their time and be the teachers these children need. They spend 5 days a week teaching, in most cases working with over 100 children of different grade levels to prepare them for a better future. They are not paid, but give their service for the love of children and their community.

 

Gilliart is one of the 50 community members who volunteered to help provide education to the thousands of children in Lufwanyama who do not have the privilege of being in a government school. He went up to grade 9 in school, but would also love to upgrade his own education.

 

With the coming of the Sponsorship program, these volunteer teachers have begun to see hope and a Joseph Mbelneg with some the children he teacheslasting change for the future of the children they teach as they receive simple training to equip them to better provide an education to the children. In the past six months, Save the Children trained 36 teachers from Lufwanyama in the use of “New Break through to Literacy” (NBTL) and equipped these teachers with materials. The program has also indentified 12 teachers who will be attending training sessions so they can upgrade their teaching skills. The Sponsorship program is also in the process of providing library and other reading materials for the children in the 20 schools to promote literacy.

 

The community school teachers appreciate the support for the schools and look forward to further training. Asked why they spend so much time working for the community, Gillart says, “for the love of the children and to give them a better future and opportunity than I had.”

 

“With the coming of the Save the Children, I know we will excel and provide a better education for the children,” he continues. “I have begun to hear about other people who want to join in becoming volunteers as we are being trained and improving on our status and the community now respects us even more.” 

 

 

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Going After A Dream




Tiago Parruque, Provincial Sponsorship Operations Coordinator

Tiago Parruque, Provincial Sponsorship
Operations Coordinator

Mozambique

July 29, 2013


Leadra
Jeremias Tivane stands out for being a success case in the Chaimite community
where she was born, lives and now works. She is 21 years old and completed ​​all the possible education in her community, where schools go from 1st
to 10th grade.
There are few cases in which a girl like Leandra survives in the education
system, especially in poor rural communities like hers.

Leadra
had a sponsor to whom she wrote twice. "The letters I received from my
sponsor were the first and the only ones that I received,” she says. “It was little
but very good. I keep the letters with me.” She participated in several
programs Save the Children implemented in two schools where she studied and has
been a Save the Children volunteer since 2007.

Being
a nurse is Leadra’s dream. Her strong desire to save lives drove her to that
choice.

IMG_1253“Being
nurse is a noble profession,” she told us. “Unfortunately, I have not graduated
as such. However, the dream is unfolding: I am now working at a dispensary in
Chaimte as a reproductive sexual heath councilor and an activist against HIV/AIDS,
urging people to volunteer for testing.

“While
a student, I took part in all the great activities carried out by Save the
Children in my school. I have always had a special curiosity about HIV/AIDS because
many of my schoolmates lost their fathers, mothers and siblings due to this
evil. The fact of it being something preventable led me into thinking that with
knowledge, I would help youngsters and adults alike participate in the process
of its prevention. We could bring down the mortality rate, as well as the
number of orphan children in my community.

“I
took part in various workshops on reproductive sexual health which lead me into
being an activist in the school, as well as in the community.”


IMG_1245

Leandra
has succeeded in convincing many people from her community to undergo voluntary
testing on their HIV/AIDS status. From this group, the focus is on mothers-to-be
so, after discovering their status, they have a chance to start a counseling
and treatment process to avoid the transmission of the disease to their child.

“I
am proud to be helping to save lives and teaching the communities how to improve
their standards of life,” she says. “All of this makes me feel pleased and so
willing to go further.”

 

 Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Morganne’s Thank You for trip to Mozambique

Dear Sponsors,

I wanted to follow-up with you on my trip to the Save the Children Advocacy Summit in Washington in April. (I am sorry that this is so late.) 

Momo CapOn Wednesday, I spent the day in the Youth Summit, where we learned how to advocate, kinds of messages to use and how our voices as children advocating for children are so important. There, I met, while working in groups, a lot of very interesting people: a 17 year old ex-gang member who now supports the Boys and Girls Clubs, kids that started school clubs to help develop their small rural towns and other kids that share my experience in going into poorer countries to build shelters or work with children.  Through these encounters I learned the hard work and tools it takes to get the message out.  In the afternoon I went to the White House where several of President Obama's advisers on foreign aid and US development gave the administrations' vision of what could be done to help children worldwide and how advocacy can help.  One of the most exciting moments of the day was in the evening when I attended the Board of Trustees cocktail party, because I got to meet Vice-President Joe Biden!!

On Thursday, I spoke as part of the Youth Advocating for Youth Panel.  My mom filmed the panel discussion, but unfortunately she had her hand over the microphone so I have pictures but no sound.  I spoke in front of over 300 people and shared my opinions based on my experiences about how a 14 year old can help others.  In the afternoon, I went with a group to the Capitol to meet with three House of Representative staffers (all representing Legislators from the state of New York) to discuss why the Legislators should support setting up a National Commission on Children and also why they should co-sponsor H.RES 135 supporting frontline health workers worldwide.  

The Summit was two full days worth of learning and action.  It helped me realize that we all need to advocate for change.  It taught me how small actions can make a big difference in children's lives. I learned so much, and had an absolutely incredible experience!  

I just want to thank you again for your support for my trip to Mozambique.  While I have learned so much from the entire Save the Children experience, the most important thing is that I've seen how the money you donated is working to help children in need worldwide.  Thank you!

Sincerely,

Morganne

Morganne’s Thank You for trip to Mozambique

Dear Sponsors,

I wanted to follow-up with you on my trip to the Save the Children Advocacy Summit in Washington in April. (I am sorry that this is so late.) 

Momo CapOn Wednesday, I spent the day in the Youth Summit, where we learned how to advocate, kinds of messages to use and how our voices as children advocating for children are so important. There, I met, while working in groups, a lot of very interesting people: a 17 year old ex-gang member who now supports the Boys and Girls Clubs, kids that started school clubs to help develop their small rural towns and other kids that share my experience in going into poorer countries to build shelters or work with children.  Through these encounters I learned the hard work and tools it takes to get the message out.  In the afternoon I went to the White House where several of President Obama's advisers on foreign aid and US development gave the administrations' vision of what could be done to help children worldwide and how advocacy can help.  One of the most exciting moments of the day was in the evening when I attended the Board of Trustees cocktail party, because I got to meet Vice-President Joe Biden!!

On Thursday, I spoke as part of the Youth Advocating for Youth Panel.  My mom filmed the panel discussion, but unfortunately she had her hand over the microphone so I have pictures but no sound.  I spoke in front of over 300 people and shared my opinions based on my experiences about how a 14 year old can help others.  In the afternoon, I went with a group to the Capitol to meet with three House of Representative staffers (all representing Legislators from the state of New York) to discuss why the Legislators should support setting up a National Commission on Children and also why they should co-sponsor H.RES 135 supporting frontline health workers worldwide.  

The Summit was two full days worth of learning and action.  It helped me realize that we all need to advocate for change.  It taught me how small actions can make a big difference in children's lives. I learned so much, and had an absolutely incredible experience!  

I just want to thank you again for your support for my trip to Mozambique.  While I have learned so much from the entire Save the Children experience, the most important thing is that I've seen how the money you donated is working to help children in need worldwide.  Thank you!

Sincerely,

Morganne

Hopes Written Down



José Tobar

José Tobar, Sponsorship Officer

El Salvador

May 13, 2013


Having the
chance to work on translating letters between children and sponsors is kind of
like witnessing a journey between two worlds. On one hand, we have a person
who’s usually writing from a developed country.

“Hello
Emerson, it is great to be your sponsor. My name is Michelle, and I hope we get
to know each other and that you reply to this letter soon. I live in California
with my two children and my little cat. We live near the San Diego beach. How
is it where you live? What are your hobbies? What do you want to be when you
grow up? ”

El_Salvador_RICA_Anita_answering_1On the other
side there is child who lives miles away from them. What bonds these two? Some
may say it is the will to lend a hand from one person to another whose needs
are greater, but I think it’s more than that. It’s a set of hopes shared by them
both; one hoping to see a change in this world and willing to do something to make
that happen and another who is just starting to live and might still not fully
understand his or her reality, just a heart full of wishes, aspirations and
goals. The basic mind of a child who knows what he or she wants to become
without considering all the obstacles that may arise.

“Hello
Michelle, This is Emerson and we are very happy to meet you. I also live near
the beach! I am going to first grade and I love riding bicycle with my friends.
I want to become a doctor when I grow up and I live with my mother and grandmother.
I thank God for letting me meet you and I hope that I can meet you personally
some day. Take care, Emerson.”

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to learn more.

Everyone Can Help Someone

Wendi Cameron Pictures_Page_1Wendi Cameron, Child Sponsor


August 15, 2012



I am a true believer of the saying, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” I am actively involved in my local community, but I wanted to do more. Although my heart is filled with a joy that is beyond measure, I still felt something was missing. 

I looked in to various charity and sponsorship programs on the internet and I was most impressed with Save the Children’s sponsorship program.  I decided to become a sponsor because of the organization’s history, their commitment to helping others in need, and the fact that I would be able to establish a relationship with the child chosen for me. 

It was then that I realized what I was missing was the connection with the child I am helping, and Save the Children encourages interaction between the sponsor and the child. IMG_0517

I was so excited when I received my sponsor packet from Save the Children because it included a picture of Willow… a smiling, beautiful little girl with rosy cheeks, wearing a pink t-shirt.  My heart melted.  From all the children that could have been chosen for me to sponsor, I was given Willow.

From that day on, barely a day goes by that I have not picked up something to send her.  Trust me, I enjoy every minute of it!  Words cannot describe how incredible it feels to be Willow’s sponsor and to know that I am helping her and her community, but most of all, I love being part of her world.

When I receive the drawings that Willow has made for me, it is like my birthday and Christmas all wrapped up in one.  I have her drawings all over my home and office.  In addition, the pictures I eceive of Willow are so precious to me and I proudly show them off.  It is amazing to see how fast she is growing up! 

Little does Willow know she has filled an empty space in my heart and continuously enriches my life.  Maybe one day I will get to tell her in person!

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.

Connecting people across cultures and space

Mali spon headshotDougoutigui Coulibaly, Save the Children Sponsorship field worker

Sikasso District, Mali 

May 31, 2012


Countless sponsors have told us over the years that one of the most rewarding aspects of being a sponsor is developing a personal connection with a child whose life is being changed by their generous support.

This is a shared sentiment, as children in Mali feel the same way. Ask them what they like most about sponsorship and many will mention the relationship that develops with their sponsors over the years.

They really love to learn about their sponsors. Letters provide them with a unique source of joy, pride and a feeling that somebody cares and values them. They particularly appreciate words of encouragement and praise for their school efforts. A couple of weeks ago, an eleven year-old girl told me, “encouragement from my sponsor always pushes me to do more in school”.

Mali spon and kid Many children do not believe their eyes when I visit their schools and homes with letters. Often I read to the younger ones; hearing me read their letters is a fun and rewarding moment for them. Our sponsors come from all walks of life and their messages reflect this. They write about their education, work, hobbies, families, pets and general advice on being a good citizen. As I read the letters I can see the children’s feelings on their face, from broad smiles to laughter, to surprise and more.

In Mali, gratitude and reciprocity are an integral part of the social mores. Sponsored children want to be true to these values and return the kindness by replying to their sponsors. Often they are unsure what to write, but a few words of encouragement from parents or teachers are usually enough to egg them on to open up and enthusiastically share their own stories.

Like sponsors, children love talking about their families, friends, school and sports. More importantly, they like asking questions and are curious to know everything from food eaten in a sponsor’s country to the type of bed they sleep in.

Interested in joining our community of sponsors? Click here to find out more.