BPN has worked year round to raise funds for various charities and communities. Back in November, more than $600 were donated to Free The Children in order to give children in Bellavista Baja, Ecuador a much needed classroom to help further their education.
How did the funds impact education in the community?
In order to create a more conducive learning environment for students, Free The Children has constructed three new classrooms in the community of Bellavista Baja! These new classrooms were constructed out of materials that are more suitable for the heavy rain falls and intense winds that the Amazon region faces. Each classroom is equipped with appropriate furnishings, including desks and supplies, to support the healthy learning environment. Solar panel lighting provides a sustainable light source and reduce the energy needed to power it. All classrooms also contain textbooks for the students with current and relevant material.
Along with the additional learning materials and improved infrastructure, Free The Children implemented teacher trainings throughout the year. An effective classroom requires not only reliable construction, but effective teaching methods in order to engage students. These teacher trainings build the capacity for these engagements and increase the potential for success for all students.
Why did they need help with classrooms?
The majority of schools in the community and Amazon region have been built by the government, and are in poor condition; most were falling apart and are often unsafe. These classrooms did not provide a conducive learning environment, especially due to the Amazon’s crazy weather. Heavy rainfalls create amplified noises which make it extremely difficult for students to hear their teacher. It is also not uncommon for classrooms to flood during rainfalls.
Although education is free in Ecuador, access to proper, regular and safe transportation is limited, making it challenging for students to get to school. Most communities in the Amazon are located along the Napo River, the largest river in the Amazon. When it rains, the river often swells and collects tree trunks and other debris. The current is fast and creates a dangerous journey home for the students, causing cases of drowning.
Free the Children has been working to build classrooms that are more appropriate for the Amazon environment and weather conditions. The schools FTC have constructed thus far have been elevated from the ground, and the roof is designed to not only eliminate distracting noises during rainfall, but also works to cool down the room to make it more comfortable for the students. Community members have been a large support of the new classrooms and have volunteered during the construction.