Check out all the reasons why we all think libraries are important, and that this non-profit, educate., is making the ultimate effort to get our newest library in Honduras sponsored all the way from Europe.
educate. is a small, Scottish-registered non-profit that works to support education in Honduras through scholarship programmes for excellent but underprivileged students and projects at schools and orphanages around the country. They believe that education lies at the root of sustainable development in Honduras. A key part of education is of course literacy, and with books so hard to come by in Honduras, many children are never provided with opportunities to read, which not only helps develop their literacy skills but can also spark a love of learning.
educate. came across Chispa Project via a tweet from the director’s father, suggesting educate. have a look at Chispa's work. Inspired and impressed not only by Chispa's mission but also by the community-driven development approach used to create the individual library programs, educate. contacted Chispa to see how they contribute and decided to sponsor a library.
One of educate.’s board members spent a year living in El Progreso, working at a nearby children’s home, and was drawn to the idea of starting a library in this area. All of the educate. board members deeply believe in the value of education and the impact that access to books can have. “I was a voracious reader growing up,” says Antonia McGrath, educate.’s Chair, “but only because I had access to books. Reading isn’t just about deciphering letters, it’s about imagination, it opens your mind to other worlds and possibilities. And for children in public schools in a country like Honduras, that is invaluable.
educate. is excited to be providing children with access to books in their own language, and teaching them, their teachers and their parents how to use the library effectively. They know this will give them the chance to learn and the opportunity to grow as students, thinkers and dreamers. Thanks, educate., for helping sponsor a library!
For more information on sponsoring a library, contact us here. To read more about educate.'s project and/or donate, read here!
We are constantly amazed at how people from around the world are connected with Honduras, and Diana Klein’s story is no different.
Diana lived in Honduras as participating with the Germany Society for International Cooperation in 2015. There, her discovery is the same as ours: books in Honduras are inaccessible to the general population. Books here are often expensive, hard to find, and of low quality.
Now back teaching in Germany at Leifheit Campus, she took advantage of her new connection to Honduras to pass her knowledge along to her students. In June 2017, Leifheit Campus carried out a charity day called “Movement for Honduras.” The students cooked and sold typical Honduran food, played children’s games, and sold handicrafts painted with Honduran and Germany motifs. The day taught participants a little of the diversity and beauty of Honduran culture while raising a sum of $4,000.
Diana then found and reached out to Chispa Project as she felt our mission matched what she envisioned in a book donation. Chispa Project works with organizations like Diana’s to help sponsor particular reading programs or benefit a chosen school. The money will go towards creating school library the José Cecilio del Valle School in Santa María, La Paz. Chispa Project will match the donation’s value in order to donate a total of 650 children’s books and provide the trainings and follow-up throughout 2018.
Chispa Project started working with Santa María and this past week met with the school’s newly formed library committee who will run and maintain the library program. Thanks, Diana and Leifheit Campus for reaching out, and to Santa María for being a community excited and ready to work for a new library!
Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to be a dentist. She had been on medical brigades in Honduras twice before, but wanted to find a preventative measure for all the rotten teeth she was seeing.
The girl worked all of her senior year in high school to write a story for beginner readers about how to take care of your teeth and designed a coloring book with the story. She collaborated with friends to get beautiful drawings and add Honduran sayings.
Then, she flew to Honduras and drove all across the rural Honduran countryside talking to 450 children in one week about why they should brush their teeth. Armed with several real rotten teeth samples and a handy dad in tow, she gave each child a coloring book, a pack of colored pencils, and a new toothbrush.
The girl’s name is Elise Blackburn, and this is her story of working with Chispa Project.
Five years ago, Community Health Partnership- Honduras (CHPH) came to visit La Florida, La Paz with Chispa Project testing the waters for a new site to bring medical brigades. Since then, Chispa and CHPH have worked together as two new and growing non-profits to support each other in resources and connections. This year, that support showed up in the waiting room.
Hundreds of people gather each day in the large community center waiting for their turn to see one of the medical brigade doctors who work along side local medics to provide integral care. They sometimes wait all day just see a specialist. So this year, while waiting, Chispa Project set up a reading corner. We talked with parents about the importance of reading, lent books out, and provided activities to the children using stories books to promote self-esteem, and to reduce stress and anxiety. The children had fun while reinforcing reading habits through shared reading between peers, reading aloud, creating their own stories (written or drawn).
CHPH also provides trainings for the health promoter volunteers to take back health information to their local villages. This year, Chispa also participated with a training on how families can promote reading habits in young children even if there are not books home.
Thanks CHPH for the invitation, and we look forward to the next brigade in October!
Meet Tim. He is a volunteer at Santa Monica Bilingual School in Cofradía, Honduras with BECA (Bilingual Education in Central America). This year he realized a major need for helping his students with reading comprehension was class sets. So, he started somewhat like we did: knocking on the doors of friends and family. All in all, Tim raised a $1,000 and then got in touch with us.
The best part of being a small organization is we can do more with less. Partnering with Tim and being incredibly resourceful like we are, we were able to get 22 class sets of books in bilingual and English books. It was almost like Christmas unloading the 500 books, minus the stifling 96 degree heat of North Honduras in the summer.
Tim's only extra specific request? To also bring his personal favorites to add to the school library: A to Z Mysteries and the Magic Treehouse series. Any other fans out there? Give a holler!
Congratulations, Tim, and being a great example how a spark can go a long way. Contact us if you are interested in fundraising for a specific literacy project in Honduras that we can help partner with you and make your donation go further.
Here in Honduras, and not uncommon in other places, it is customary to think that teachers should entirely responsible for the education of children. Especially in more rural areas, many parents defer to the authority of the teachers because they have more formal education than the parents. This is problematic because in the end, parents know their children the best and have the ability to be their child's best teacher.
This week we have the unique opportunity to partner with BECA (Bilingual Schools in Central America) in their "Libros y Familias" event ("Books and Families"). During the event, students get to choose a book in Spanish to take home that were donated in partnership with BECA and Chispa Project.
Parents attended a presentation that covered 3 main points:
1) Reading is Important
2) Parents are their children's best teachers
3) Ways to help reading abilities at home
We laughed, we made fun of the U.S. presenter's Spanish, and parents shouted out how they knew reading was important. In the end we concluded the following: in order to help our children have the option to be the best they can be, they need a base of good education and that starts at home and with good reading habits.
This is a brief log of some of our projects! Check back frequently for updates.