Community Partnerships: Working with Chaupitena

One of our longest-standing partnerships at our site in Ecuador has been with the local primary school Unidad Educativa Jijón Caamaño y Flores, which we refer to Chaupitena for short. This school is located in the neighborhood of Chaupitena, just a short walk down the road from the MPI community center. As many of the children and teenagers that attend MPI programs and spend time at our community center attend this school, it seemed only natural that a partnership with the school would be an important way to give back to the communities we serve.

Each year Manna Project Program Directors meet with the administration of Chaupitena to discuss the ways that we can best work together for the benefit of students and their families. This year, we decided together that helping students with English fluency would be the best way to accomplish this, and so our English club was born. Three times a week Program Directors lead an English Club for students, helping them work towards English fluency, an important skill for future jobs that can help them break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Teaching at Chaupitena has been a great experience for Program Directors, and a way to get to know students in the community. We've also seen students get involved with other programs and events after first meeting us at English club, such as Children's Nutrition classes, our Teen Center, and more.

As the school year draws to a close at Chaupitena, we will definitely miss our students, but we look forward to seeing them spend more time at our community center and get involved with different summertime activities with Manna Project, like our summer reading club. Looking forward to the next school year, we hope to expand our impact at Chaupitena by working with English teachers to help them with their fluency as well, and developing more regular, school-wide activities to engage even more students and families.