The New Year

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Manna Project International

Hello faithful readers!

I just wanted to let you know that we are all back safe and sound from our winter holidays in the States.  We returned Saturday night and spent the weekend orienting our new PD, Julie! (She will be posting soon to introduce herself.)

Then on Monday, we jumped right in with the unexpected. We learned that the principal of the Básico school we work in would no longer be working there, due to unexplained reasons. Sadly, there's been a lot of reshuffling in schools lately due to a large purge of teachers.

Since then, we have been re-visiting our program goals for this quarter. We were asked to continue one of our programs (Básico English classes) even though we have made it clear multiple times that we are unable to. After much discussion and thinking as a team, we have decided to stick to our previous decision. I think all of us are learning that sometimes what's best for the community and for our organization may not be what's easy. Sure, it would be immediately helpful and easy for the PD's who are fluent in English to teach these English classes. But that means there is turnover in the middle of the school year when we leave and new PD's arrive. Our students told us that this is hard on them and hinders their learning. Furthermore, we have decided to switch our focus on teaching English to the teachers. In this way, we are empowering the teachers to learn a new skill and be able to properly teach their students English. We look forward to potentially partnering with the Ministry of Education to create a more formalized program for all of our teachers' English programs. That way, our classes are more efficient, teachers are more motivated to attend, and they could become more marketable as teachers. While it may be tough at first, we truly believe this is the best way we can support the school.

This quarter is going to be a great one. All four of us are focusing on developing new programs. Today, we all picked particular programs to focus on first. We have a good variety of health, women's empowerment/business development, and environment. It is truly exciting to be able to build new programs from the ground-up in a so many different sectors. All of us look forward to reaching out to different populations of the community and building many new relationships along the way.

Here's to a new year, a new quarter, a new PD, and many new programs!

-Nicole

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