Thank you from Project Somos and Child Aid.

kidssantahats-smEvery year a portion of the proceeds for the sale of each bag of Ethical Bean Coffee goes to support local community and international charities. Two close to our heart that we support annually are Project Somos and Child Aid. Here are some highlights from their year that we want to thank you for helping to support!

A personal note from Project Somos:

As always, we are incredibly grateful to Ethical Bean for its ongoing support of the Project Somos vision and our work here in the Central Highlands of Guatemala. Ethical Bean believed in this vision when it was nothing but an innovative idea in the minds and hearts of its founders.

2016 has been the biggest year ever for Project Somos! This year we reached capacity and began building our third family home for two more families. The money was raised by a group of enthusiastic volunteers who also made their way to Project Somos to help during the initial days of construction.

We started afternoon programming for all of the children living in the Village and everyday the kids have been happily engaged learning, playing and making art. The Somos mamas have grown their felting handicraft business and this has proven to be really empowering for them and has lifted their self-esteem.

Our first graduating mama, Tita, flew to Vancouver in October and gave an inspiring and moving presentation at our annual fundraiser and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house and she was given a standing ovation.

We are looking ahead to 2017 and aim to double our family population, increase our programming and welcome more volunteer groups!

Learn more at projectosomos.org

 An update from Child Aid:

Child Aid trains teachers, provides books to schools and supports literacy programs in some of Guatemala’s poorest and most underprivileged public schools. We work in communities whose children desperately need better literacy and critical thinking skills to pursue their educations and improve their lives. But they attend schools that are trapped in a repeating cycle of poor quality instruction, insufficient resources and low expectations. Child Aid works to break that cycle by working with teachers and schools to improve the quality of education for their students. Through hands-on workshops and one-on-one coaching, teachers learn skills and techniques that create a more engaging, interactive learning environment for their students.

childaid1In 2016, Child Aid provided training for 625 teachers from 66 schools in the regions of Sololá and Chimaltenango, reaching over 12,000 students. Child Aid trainers spent an average of 40 hours in each school this year: running training workshops, providing one-on-one coaching and support to teachers, helping establish school libraries & book lending programs so that students have more opportunities to read and develop their skills.

Child Aid’s emphasis on practical classroom techniques and support of teachers through one-on-one coaching has received an enthusiastic response from both teachers and principals. As awareness of our teacher training program has grown, school officials are increasingly looking to Child Aid as a reliable and effective partner for improving teacher performance.childaid2

Earlier this year Child Aid also began an ambitious new effort to measure the impact of their program on improving teacher effectiveness and students’ literacy skills. Using a test developed by USAID and the Ministry of Education in Guatemala, Child Aid tested 3,200 2nd and 3rd grade students in reading comprehension and fluency at the beginning and end of the school year. This testing will continue in the schools over the four-year program, providing valuable information on student outcomes as the program continues to develop and grow.

Learn more at child-aid.org

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