Our main goal is helping improve education for the children living in some of the poorest barrios of Granada. We are currently working with around 2,000 children.
La Esperanza Granada volunteers together give around 1,000 hours weekly, working directly with young students. This help is ongoing, and we constantly strive to improve the effectiveness of the help we are able to give.
As part of our efforts to improve education, we try to raise funds for extra teachers, build extra schools, classrooms, learning centers and do school repairs and maintenance. We help provide much needed resources in the schools such as notebooks, pens and pencils, whiteboards and markers etc. Our new learning centers provide safe, clean places where children can come to continue their learning in an informal environment during their free hours. To date we have built one learning center with two more scheduled for construction in early 2017. We help improve the health of the students through dental visits, fluoride rinse treatments, eye exams and supplying eyeglasses. We aim to make learning fun for the children by providing art and craft supplies, sports equipment, playground equipment, and local excursions/field trips.
When schools have vacation time we step in to fill the gap with special vacation courses, activity groups, summer school and running the learning centers. The Ministry of Education is happy to allow us to use the local schools for these activities.
We spend a lot of time working on the basics, assisting children learn to read, write and understand numbers. When a child learns to recognize the significance of letters and numbers, a gateway to the whole world opens up for them. Helping to give the children confidence is important too. Low expectations and self esteem go hand in hand with poverty.
From 2012 we are working hard to bring more computers to the schools and allow the children to spend more time accessing the computers. To increase the amount of time we can spend with computers in the schools and learning centers we need funds for transport, as well as more computers (due to lack of security we are not able to leave computers in the schools, so we focus on small net book computers that are easy to transport and store).
The graph below shows how much benefit the computers are having in helping the children to learn: