February 2, 2015 by Debra Gittler
Vice President Joe Biden wrote in his New York Times Op Ed: A Plan for Central America:
«As we were reminded last summer when thousands of unaccompanied children showed up on our southwestern border, the security and prosperity of Central America are inextricably linked with our own.»
For the past four years, many of you have heard me personally make this same argument. Central America, our closest neighbors with some of the highest number of immigrants in the USA, has been declared the most violent peacetime-region in the world for years. While the New York Times and other media run regular articles highlighting educational efforts as an essential approach to mitigating violence in Africa and the Middle East, we’ve been frustrated at the lack of attention and empathy toward the region where we’ve been working hard.
Biden wrote: «Inadequate education, institutional corruption, rampant crime and a lack of investment are holding these countries back. Six million young Central Americans are to enter the labor force in the next decade. If opportunity isn’t there for them, the entire Western Hemisphere will feel the consequences.»
For four years, ConTextos’ has been working to improve education as a key tool to help kids avoid violence, understand their surroundings, build skills for the work force, and confront trauma. Check out our incredible results in our 2014 Annual Report.
As President Obama said last year: “And so the moment we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold into a library, we’ve changed their lives forever, and for the better. This is an enormous force for good.”
They say that education can’t change the world, but it can change the kids who will change the world. ConTextos is working hard, and demonstrating success, to improve student learning outcomes and make schools safer, more effective spaces for kids of all ages. Learning to read and accessing books shouldn’t be a privilege. And surely, a better future for El Salvador and the region won’t happen without the crucial step.
ConTextos is thrilled that we’ve grown to be in nearly 70 schools, benefitting about 25,000 kids, in El Salvador. But that’s only a tiny drop in the bucket for the millions of students in need in Central America. Our plan for Central America includes incorporating e-readers and digital content into our programming so we can take our successes to scale. Please, join us to combat violence and instill hope.
Who knows how long it will take Congress to pass this initiative—or how much money they will finally commit to changing this region. But why wait for them. Help us now! Contribute to make ConTextos part of the bigger plan in Central America. Donate dollars, share our videos on Facebook, or visit our website. Every click matters; getting to understand the problem is part of the solution—and investing in ConTextos is a step in that direction.
Founder and Executive Director
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