Every day in my job as a World Vision communicator I cannot help but worry when I see the big challenges that my country faces.
Can you imagine that in El Salvador only 55 percent of children have access to preschool education? This means that most of them enter first grade not knowing basic things as their ABC’s or even how to hold a pencil…this means their chances to dropout school in first grade are pretty high. Then, I think about my life and my beloved four-and-a-half-year-old son Marquitos, who is blessed enough to start preschool next year.
My dream is that more children could have this opportunity
World Vision is working actively to contribute to children’s preschool education in the country from urban to rural areas, from beach huts to the mountains. Through the Holistic Community Development Centres, children who usually come from broken families and poverty have the opportunity to make new friends and improve their education and health.
I am excited every time I visit World Vision’s preschool project, even though I’ve been doing so for the last five years. Knowing that children are able to grow in their social, cognitive and emotional development or other skills makes me happy as there is a greater chance they will pass the first grade with the basic skills learned.
I have met smiling, shy, outgoing, creative, competitive, and generous girls and boys. I have seen some that embrace, others that share their goodies, many that pray, and others that run freely in the school yard.
I like to talk with the children’s moms to know how do they feel about their children being students…I can relate to them and get excited as I am in the same transition with my son. I cannot help it, but I enjoy when I see them waiting for their children, going back home and checking the school work.
It is not easy to trust your children to strangers, but every time I am more convinced that I should trust the teacher that God has sent to teach my child. I remember amazing educators in the Centres such as Zulma, William, Avelardo, Andrea, Angelina, Rosa and others; their patience, creativity, and enthusiasm make me understand that in this world there are brave people like them, sent by the Lord to teach our children. The biggest satisfaction of a teacher is to see the children successfully entering first grade.
My dream is that more children could have this opportunity so they learn about their rights and defend them, value their emotions and those of others, develop empathy and achieve a healthy communication.
An excellent education is the one that encompasses not only the academic but also the emotional, social, ethic, and spiritual areas. I dream that children live the love of God in the kindergarten through friendship, cooperation, commitment, creativity, compassion, practice of values, and good relationships.
Preschool for Marquitos will be the start of a lifelong school experience, his own little world, just like it is for the 4,462 children of the 228 Centres which World Vision is implementing in El Salvador thanks to the support of 240 educators and thousands of donors around the world.
To educate a child, in essence, is to teach him how to fend for himself and transform his life; that is what we do at World Vision.