the resurgence of hope


2009 Report

Posted by cigarra-eng on January 25, 2010 at 3:59 PM

General Overview:




We started the school year in January with a change in the administration and with the change came changes in the programs that we developed over the course of the year.  




We increased our outreach to the general population through workshops, and increased our work with the “ Junta de Acción Communal” -Community Leaders Junta (JAC).  We changed our food suppliers and had an increase in donations of animal protein such as eggs, chicken, beef and milk.  We are specially pleased to have been able to provide the children with milk daily.


Our nutritionist, Dra, Cecilia Helena Montoya, came several times during the course of the year and thanks to St George’s School we now have all our students nutritional records online with private access.  Our teachers weigh and measure the students monthly to monitor their nutritional status, and spot early signs of malnutrition.




We continue our vaccination campaigns and this year due to the H1N1 influenza pandemic, there were informational workshops as well as a targeted vaccination campaign by the local hospital for children between the ages of 0-2.  We have increased our sanitation measures with the use of liquid soap, disposable towels and bactericidal gel.




In association with another NGO, Fundación Oriéntame, we began several age appropriate sex education classes and a daylong workshop with the parents, which included preventive health and family planning consultations by Profamilia.




This year we had 150 students, an increase from previous years, due to the continued demand.  We felt that because the changes we undertook during the year, we were able to increase our student population.




We increased the number of our teachers and have made our curriculum more consistent from age group to age group, with emphasis in manual arts, dance, music and theatre as we are very aware of these as vehicles of self expression and healing.  One of our new teachers is a trained musician and with experience in the arts and has been very keen to work in this area with all age groups.




In order to improve the workplace communications and general atmosphere we have been running monthly workshops by an outside psychologist Alfonso Tejada.  The teachers have gone out on three Teacher’s only field trips to Piscilago, Villa de Leyva and Paipa.  Two of our teachers fell in love in Cigarra, married and are expecting their first born: we wish them all the best!




The psychologist has been running parenting workshops on Saturdays once a month, touching on areas of discipline, physical and sexual abuse, help in learning and in general opening channels of communication between the parents and Cigarra.




We began work of the playground together with the parents and with the JAC, have been working to legalize the neighborhood before the government. Cigarra is based  in an area not recognized by the authorities, therefore it has no legal services such as water, sewage, electricity and paving, the lack of which makes our work difficult at times!




In June we participated in the 2nd Social Responsibility Fair in Corferias opened by the President of Colombia, where we were again able to show some of the work we do. We are also part of the founding NGOs of RedPan, launched September this year by Doña Hena de Calderón as a networking and policy advocate for foundations working with disenfranchised groups.  




We have rented a classroom and began screening adults for skills training workshops that include bread-making and the making of cleaning products.  We hope to begin these early next year together with FUMDIR and with the sponsorship of the IRT (International Refugee Trust) based in the UK.




 Together with the Botanic Garden José Celestino Mutis, we started a series of workshops on Urban agriculture.  Eight mothers heads of household are now participating in these activities.




Finally, through the work of the psychologists and Sodexho we were able to find work for some youths and hopefully in the coming year we will be able to increase the number of employed population after their training either by self employment or with employers around town.





Work with our students:




- Celebration of “Children’s Day” in April by going to a movie and a special luncheon.


- Field Trip in August to Quiba to fly kites.


- Field Trip in September to Simon Bolivar Park to celebrate “Sports Day.”


- Celebration of the final day of our September “Cultural Week” with a Break Dance performance.


- Celebration of Halloween with costumes, sweets and small gifts.


- Christmas celebration in St George’s School.


- Other field trips included an outing to the Tunal Library and Park.


- Celebration of the “Day of the Candles” in December with lanterns and candles


- Final day of school with dances and songs and graduation of students from preschool.




Work with our Parents:




- Parenting workshops


- Urban agriculture workshops


- Workshops on sexual education and family planning


- Activities with the faculty:


- Recreational outing to Piscilago


- Recreational outing to Villa de Leyva


- Recreational outing to Paipa


- Workplace environment workshops


- Monthly teacher’s meetings


- RedPan launch


- Participation in the Social Responsibility Fair


- Celebration of all birthdays, weddings and  births



Thanks to all for your support, we look forward to a New Year with great possibiliteis!

Carolyn Acosta

President and Founder,


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