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Empowering an impoverished community through education

Luz Teresa Solá

Arriba las Manos would like to thank Activated Ministries for its donation of educational books and audio/visual resources. These materials have been an invaluable contribution over the last year to the activities of Arriba las Manos in the impoverished community of Ararca.

Ararca is a small island enclave 50 kilometers from Cartagena, Colombia. The village was formed over 200 years ago by runaway slaves, and since then this community of over 1,200 people has struggled to meet its most basic needs.

According to a recent study on Ararca:

99% of the population does not have access to running water, sewage or telephone lines.
61% of the population disposes of waste in the open field.
40% of the population can’t read and write.
Less than 1% has any college level education or technical training.
40% of the adult population is unemployed.

Arriba las Manos is a nonprofit grassroots organization committed to creating opportunities for children and young people in underprivileged situations. We are pursuing an integrative approach in human development in Ararca. We’re working to implement programs designed to empower the community and help them make the most of their potential and the opportunities that are available to them.

Our strategy in Ararca combines aid and development initiatives. Our programs address urgent needs in the community, while focusing our strongest efforts on equipping children and their families to overcome the challenges they face and generate progress in their homes and their village.

The donation from Activated Ministries has been woven into our programs in the following ways:

Crecer con Valores: The storybooks and activity pages from Activated Ministries have been incorporated into this program. Crecer con Valores is a character development curriculum designed for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. There are currently 300 children from primary and middle school enrolled in the program in Ararca.

Kindergarten support: Arriba las Manos has undertaken an ongoing outreach program with the school in Ararca. Activated Ministries has made it possible to put together kits that are at present strengthening the educational experience of 30 kindergarten children.

Second language acquisition: Activated Ministries’ Start Early program is being used in class to teach English to the 150 children in grades 1 through 5 in Ararca.

We believe that the most powerful tool for eliminating cycles of poverty is education, and as such are sincerely grateful to Activated Ministries for its support of the above mentioned programs. We look forward to working with you in the future to empower Colombian children.