Empowering Youth in Rural Areas
SALEM Ecuador’s initiative to support children in the process of digital education arises from a very real need due to the high rate of technological illiteracy in rural areas like ours. We have been dealing with virtual education for all children in Ecuador for over a year. The commitment parents have to support their children has caused them to go into debt buying technological devices for virtual classes. Often, a single device does not cover the needs of the other children in the family.
The majority of Mindo’s population is low-income. The following factors generally prevent children and adolescents from receiving a good education in rural areas:
- Not having a cell phone or computer.
- Sharing a single device with siblings.
- Lack of stable internet or absence of internet at home.
- Lack of knowledge of the use of digital platforms, parents and children.
The intention of our academic support initiative is to work with children who need help managing the platforms of their online education. This will facilitate the virtual learning our kids will be facing for an undetermined period of time.
Carlos, a boy who attends SALEM, received classes using his parents’ cell phone. He stopped attending school because the cell phone did not have enough cellular data. Now Carlos comes to SALEM to receive his virtual classes. He is a very punctual and dedicated student. Thanks to our volunteers, Carlos and other children with similar needs are learning to use the virtual school platform.
Belén Mendieta and Dayana Fernández are the volunteers who provide technical assistance to the children who come to ask for help. They provide training so that the children can become empowered in their school activities.
At the moment the three computers we have at SALEM for the students are not enough for all the demand we have. We would love to expand our technology support service to more children and youth in need.
We are currently looking for new or gently used laptops. If you can help us with a donation, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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