Extra-curricular programs

Social work

Social Work plays an important role at all schools. The social workers are our first point of contact with the families and provide the primary link between the community and the organization.

They complete the social-economic studies we use to assess which families qualify for our projects. They also monitor the families’ progress throughout the child’s involvement in our schools. They conduct house visits with our families at least once a year or more often if necessary, but more often if the students home life or behaviour necessitates further involvement from the program.

Each month, parents are required to attend a workshop called “Escuela de Padres” where they learn about a wide range of topics aimed at helping them support their children more effectively both at school and in the home.

The social work program also runs a Community Centre, which is open to all members of the community around the schools, not just parents of the students. They hold weekly workshops on baking and recycling, with the long-term aim of providing an income for these individuals.

Psychology

Much more than what is learnt in the classroom. To this end, our Psychology department works tirelessly to address issues affecting our students’ mental health. The program ensures that each student is able to get the most out of their time in the classroom by identifying and working to resolve problems or past traumas from their home and/or community life that might be influencing their wellbeing. These issues can range from not having a quiet space at home to study to serious cases of abuse.

In addition to providing one-on-one and group therapy sessions, the program teams up with the Social Work Department to provide formal and informal education to the parents of our students. Together they provide a “Family Nurturing” workshop called Crianza con Cariño. Crianza con Cariño is an 8-week program that works with parents and children on non-violent communication and conflict resolution.

A few of the other programs that we carry out each year are one-on-one and group therapy sessions, a Family Alcoholics Support group, a Self-esteem and Hygiene program and other social services that our families and students would otherwise go without.

These programs are fundamental to the change that we are trying to bring to the communities we serve. Our students and their families depend on these programs to acquire skills regarding basic health and hygiene and other knowledge that improves the family’s wellbeing.

Nutrition & Health

The Nutrition and Health Program ensures our students are healthy and well fed, allowing them to focus in the classroom. Each day, our mothers organize themselves in volunteer shifts to prepare nutritious meals with the help of our kitchen manager. The mothers learn how to prepare healthy food from locally available produce, and their children enjoy the delicious meals they make.

Several times each year, our schools receive visits from local and foreign doctors and dentists to give them check-ups, extract teeth, and do vision screenings.
Medical care is financially out of reach for the communities we serve, and preventative health care is essentially unheard of among our families.

In addition to the frequent field clinics, we reinforce good hygiene habits in our schools every day of the year by washing hands and brush teeth after snack and lunch.

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