Beginning in January 2013, The Resource Foundation (TRF) and the Caterpillar Foundation have launched a $3 million initiative to improve education, gender equality, and life skills by reaching 11,000 children in 10 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean.
The chosen countries include Panama, Mexico, and Brazil (key Latin American locations for Caterpillar) and Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Dominican Republic, among others, which demonstrate maximum need for educational support, especially for girls.
International evaluations have revealed that 62% of low-income students in Latin America have rudimentary reading skills and almost no qualifications to participate in society productively. This milestone in global education aims to provide disadvantaged children with opportunities for quality education through teacher training, curricula, educational enforcements, and local community support networks.
As part of TRF’s strategy to create lasting social change in the region, this three-year program plans to meet the greatest education challenges: quality of education, retention in schools, and progress. Four key features of the proposed methodology include:
- Developing life skills in the areas of personal responsibility, gender roles, and effective communication
- Reinforcing education in math and reading
- Establishing community-based libraries in every school to promote reading and research in school activities
- Creating a platform for success and sustainability by incorporating several stakeholders
This initiative aims to focus on students between 4th and 6th grades so that they can use essential literacy skills to gain secondary education, thus income inequality and promoting economic growth. TRF, along with Caterpillar, believes the program will involve students, parents, and teachers, and, with the help of local NGOs, will develop an atmosphere of love for learning among children.
Consequently, the two organizations hope to develop a close link between education and sustainable employment. TRF will closely monitor and evaluate the impact of the program’s success and will share the results with the public, in tune with its mission to promote sustained development in the region. TRF has more than 25 years of experience in working closely with donors and advisers to support issues like education, health, microenterprise, and disaster relief.
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