The good thing about an end-date on Peace Corps service is that it forces you to get stuff done.
The city we served in is isolated, but it’s still fairly urban compared to what I imagined when I first signed up for Peace Corps. By working at a school located 30 minutes outside Nueva Guinea, at least for a few days during the week, I was able to satisfy my interest in working in a small rural community.
Last week, my counterpart Freddy and I wrapped up the project we’ve been working on for about a year: developing a computer library in La Esperanza’s only school. Together we were awarded a $2,200 USD grant by non-profit World Connect to purchase equipment (books, computers, printer), train teachers in computer use, and implement activities to promote reading.
Below are some pictures documenting our progress.
After some early community assessment work including conversations with school leadership and meetings with parents about deficits in community access to resources, my counterpart and I decided to build a library using a room previously used as a storage closet.
A cyber located in Nueva Guinea facilitated the computer purchase, software set-up, and computer training of teachers.
Students helped prepare the room by cleaning, painting, and installing outlets for the computers. They also raised about $200 USD locally from parents and community members.
On September 29, 2016, we had an official opening ceremony for the library. The Nicaraguan Ministry of Education’s delegate for Nueva Guinea attended and promised to help support the project by assigning a librarian.
Books in English and Spanish were donated to the project by Quest for Peace and private individuals.
We promoted reading at the school and encouraged teachers to use the books to do the same. Fortunately, Michaela and I are being replaced by a new volunteer that arrives in November, who will work with the project leader to further integrate the new resources into the school’s curriculum.
On October 04, 2016, thirteen teachers from the primary and secondary school received a full day of basic computer training. In the coming weeks, my counterpart will be organizing follow up trainings so teachers can continue building their skill set.
As of today, the library is officially open for learning.