The Argentine Ministry of Education has approved the six Community Education Centres (Centros de Educación Popular – CEP) run in partnership with the Sisters of San José de Cuneo who are members of BICE.
This recognition is the result of the work carried out with children in the border town of Puerto Piray since 2011 aiming at preventing school dropout and protecting children from the dangers of the street. The project has helped to bring awareness of the importance first of Community Education Centres within each vulnerable area with tutoring, recreational and cultural activities for children and second of a training and support centre for mothers.
Tangible results to prevent the dangers of the street
Three years after the launching of the project, the results are there, both in the prevention of school dropout and in the decrease in malnutrition which goes with a change in eating habits and the creation of a protective environment for children and youth.
These objectives were confirmed during the evaluation visit conducted in late 2013 by BICE head in charge of Latin America along with the director of the Jean -François Peterbroek Foundation which supports the project.
“I left Puerto Piray both satisfied with the work done and amazed to see how people in such a state of insecurity have been able to ‘ back up ‘, regain their dignity and look towards the future while helping those most in need in their community”, said Véronique Peterbroeck, director of the Jean -François Peterbroeck Foundation.
The involvement of the community
As the CEP started to be known in the communities of Puerto Piray , the idea of the “mesa de trabajo” (working group) was born and today it contributes to their success. Every three months the mothers with their children, youth, social workers, school staff, psychologists and representatives of administrative authorities meet to review the progress and difficulties encountered: the involvement of the community has significantly grown, which is the guarantee of a lasting institution.
A project of popular education
This project is aimed at a vulnerable population from Argentina and also at immigrants from Paraguay in a border town where poverty is very high. Children are left to themselves and sometimes suffer from malnutrition or they are at risk of sexual abuse resulting in many teenage pregnancies.
In each of the six centers in addition to tutoring children can open to new horizons through recreational and cultural activities such as games, music, crafts, gardening… Mothers receive monthly training in listening, support, nutrition and lifestyle.
Crédit photo © CEP