"HELPING IMPROVE EDUCATION AND THE QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE POPULATION OF THE ISLAND OF AMANTANI"
Island of Amantani, district of Amantani, Province of Puno and department of Puno - Lake Titicaca - Peru
The population of the island of Amantani is approximately 4,000 and is distributed throughout nine communities. Within each community there is an average of 50 families that have houses designed to offer lodging and food services to tourists, giving the population an opportunity to obtain a small income. Children study in primary schools and adolescents in high schools for secondary education.
AREAS OF CONCERNS:
Currently, while there are a sufficient number of schools and teachers on the island, children who finish their primary or secondary studies present an under-developed level of retention in comparison with national and international standards of academic retention. Approximately 95% have not acquired a habit of reading because the teaching practice of reading is almost inexistent, and therefore he or she lacks reading comprehension skills.
The population does not consume food rich in proteins, and instead spends money on soft drinks and cookies. This norm affects children because, lacking adequate nutritional intake of food, they are not able to focus and absorb the informations they are taught in school.
CAUSES OF POOR EDUCATION AND NUTRITION
- Incomplete educational programs (for example, they are not taught geography courses, and the history and language studies teach only superficial information.) There also is a lack of reading technique courses.
- Inadequate training and support for teachers, as well as a low level of training/background of education center directors.
- Deficiency of control and supervision within the education centers.
- A good portion of parents do not buy school books or storybooks, therefore their children have not acquired a habit of reading. The community lacks a habit of investing in academic materials.
- Class attendance is irregular throughout the academic year. The reasons behind this are as follows:
- Religious and anniversary parties normally last a week. During this time, parents do not send their children to school; therefore teachers do not accomplish their teaching responsibilities
Generate a reading culture in the children and youth. The focus consists in supporting the development of a reading habit so that they become good students. Subsequently, the goal is to help these youth to become better professionals and technicians. In this way, in the future these children will have greater chances of finding work or becoming professionals, technicians, businessmen, and good leaders.
Create an increase of income for families through services offered to tourists by those who collaborate in this project. The families, in having greater income bases, will then set aside money to provide better food and purchase books for their children.
Work with the population to improve their food regimen and invest in the education of their children.
Bring professional assistance to the communities such as psychiatrists, sociologists, dentists, etc. to help, train, and guide the island population.
The methodology that will apply to the project will be developed in the short term and middle term:
IN THE SHORT TERM:
From the month of December 2007 to January 2008, we have constructed the first SELF EDUCATION CENTER, with money given by ARIZONA READING ASSOCIATION from USA, in the community of SANTA ROSA AMANTANI. We have supported parents and youth with tutoring skills in literacy for children.
On next February to May 2008, we will create 2 new others Auto-Education Centers in two others communities where we will give training to parents and youth to be tutors for children.
- AN AUTO-EDUCATION CENTER will be built for the following practices:
- Fathers, mothers, and older siblings trained to administer the library and be tutors for the children
- Room or building in the same community conditioned and painted by volunteer groups and family parents
- Furniture for a small library, including book shelves, tables, benches, books, chess and checker boards, and ping pong.
- Bringing in Professional Help to provide training in nutrition, psychiatric aid, etc.
THE MID TERM:
find volunteer collaborators to act as coordinators. These individuals will take turns rotating two days a month to be in charge of working with the youth and parents in the Auto-Education Centers. They will work in one of the 9 communities in the case if only one collaborator is available and in the case of two volunteer collaborators the rotation will be completed every 15 days.
DEVELOPMENT PHASES OF THE PROJECT
- Take professional/specialized help to the 9 communities
- Organize Auto-Education Centers in 3 communities of the island of Amantani, in which each should follow these steps:
- Make contacts with leaders and youth in each community to convoke assemblies to request a room in the social sites in which each will be created Auto-Education Centers and to prepare the norms and development plans of these Centers.
- Request help, (in materials) from Peruvian institutions and other countries to implement libraries with book shelves, books, tables, benches, chess and checker boards, and ping pong.
- Organize workshops for parents and youth on the island with the goal of training them in ways of integrating education of their children into their own daily lives. Additionally, parents and youth will carry out activities so that they may practice basic reading and then reading to children, thereby achieving reading comprehension. The objective is that the youth and the parents become tutors for their children
- Create incentives for children and youth to learn how to use literacy as a form of diversion, and so that they participate in similar workshops as those designed for their parents. The children will participate in activities to learn ways to use books, not only for reading, but also as a form of playing (for example-creating theatrical performances, puppets, etc.)
- Look for volunteer collaborators to work with them in the second phase.
SECOND AND THIRD PHASES
These phases are the same as the first phase in the 7 communities that remain to enact the program.
Work with volunteer collaborators and with national and international volunteer groups
The work will consist in:
- Work with volunteer collaborators and local project promoters of each community to train parents and older siblings (creating tutors), working with the children in each community, by rotation, practice reading and games, read stories, perform theatrical activities with the children's participation, etc.
- Assistance from the volunteer groups will consist in bringing materials for painting Center for Auto-Education sites, finding books, furniture, collaborating with volunteer coordinators, etc. The volunteer groups will be made up of English students that travel to impoverished nations and work for an average of four days in different aid projects in communities or with state institutions.
- Find help from Peruvian volunteers and those of other nations that work in assistance in the form of medical, psychological, nutrition, theater, etc.
- Help to train parents and older siblings and coordinate so that all read books, at least 45 minutes a day, continue with the work with parents and children through different techniques and games, and ultimately promote competition with games installed in the Auto-Education Centers.
- Help participating families in each community by giving them the opportunity to provide food and lodging services to visitors and volunteers that arrive to observe and work in the project.