The chance of a better education
“Me and my friends dream of getting a better education,” says 12-year old Cristina.
Cristina lives with her mum in a small village on the banks of the San Juan River, which flows through the jungles of western Colombia into the Pacific Ocean.
As in other remote parts of Colombia, schools in the San Juan region face huge challenges – attainment is far below the national average, buildings are crumbling and poorly-equipped, and it is extremely difficult to find teachers who are willing to work there. Classrooms are being deserted as more and more pupils drop out to work or join armed groups – both seemingly attractive options for children living in extreme poverty.
“It’s beautiful where I live,” she told us, “but there’s lots of things we don’t have – healthcare, good housing, education – and the armed conflict is causing us more and more problems. I want to learn how to overcome the problems we face in our region and to make the most of the resources our land has to offer. For this we need better schools – otherwise children like me will keep joining armed groups or move away to the city – we’ll make our families sad and our local culture and traditions will be lost forever.”
We believe that just because Cristina and her classmates live in one of the remotest parts of their country, it doesn’t mean they should have fewer opportunities than children elsewhere.
With your support, we can give them the chance of a quality education and all the opportunities this can bring.