Portrait of a teacher: Paula del Carmen Polanco Tonez, a teacher at Santa Rosa kindergarten (region of La Dalia)
Two sisters enrolled in school after a month of advocacy
This project stimulated everyone's motivation. Thanks to the CGTEN-Anden's training, I learned to implement strategies aimed at preventing students from dropping out of school, to ensure that they are comfortable in class, and to make school more attractive. My colleagues and I have shared everything that we learned during the training courses with the parents, in order to further disseminate the message "No to child labour".
At Santa Rosa, one of our first successes involved welcoming two sisters aged 4 and 7 who had never been to school. It took a lot of patience to achieve! When I first visited the family, I was only able to meet the aunt. She told me that the girls' parents had taken them to another region for a few weeks, to take part in the coffee harvest. I told the aunt about our project, and I told her that we very much wanted the girls to be enrolled in school. She phoned the mother, who promised that her children would go to school as soon as they returned to the village.
From that time onwards, my colleague and I travelled to the family's home every day to ensure that the promise was kept. One month later, the mother returned home with her daughters. We drank coffee together and she accepted to send her children to school the very next day. This is how Marta Rivera (primary school) and Maria (kindergarten) first went to school. They love the school, and we monitor them closely to ensure that that will always be the case.