by Cheri Dahl, ChildFund Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs
We sway hard to the right as the bus navigates the hairpin turn in the road as we travel south to the highlands outside of Quito, Ecuador.
Today the ChildFund Board of Directors is visiting the Alpamalag de Acurios community in the rural Cotopaxi province. Parents tell us that ChildFund sponsorship has had great impact on the quality of education here. At the Miguel de Cervante School, elementary students provide a tour and tell us about positive improvements to the school, organized with assistance from ChildFund.
My favorite is a “dream corner” furnished with comfortable bean bags just right for reading. The dream corner makes reading fun, students exclaim. Parents share that teacher training and improvements to the curriculum are resulting in their children’s academic success. In fact, the principal reports that this school has been recognized by the government for students’ excellent test scores.
We also meet with eighth-grade students who demonstrate computer and welding skills that are attributable to expanded courses made possible with ChildFund’s support.
Rocio, age 14, shows us how she crafts beautiful shapes out of iron and then welds them to make tables, window screens and even doors. She acknowledges that she loves mastering a skill often dominated by males.
Her teacher, Mr. Rivera, notes that students who master the craft of shaping and welding wrought iron can make a good living.
As I say good-bye, Rocio and her classmate Elsa pose for a photo and ask that I share with ChildFund sponsors the good things that are happening at their school.