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Early childhood documentary

Lucila Cecchi

As a society, we have been thinking about kids the wrong way. We tend to think that education and real learning begins when children go to school, when diapers are gone, when real human interaction is possible and playing is not the main purpose of their existence.

Thanks to the latest scientific research and innovative high-quality science based programs and interventions worldwide we know that life outcomes, are not determined solely by genes or IQ levels and that it all starts well before we are born.

These invaluable insights not only have the power to dramatically improve every child´s developmental years and help them be better equipped for a brighter future but helps us address global inequalities and break the intergenerational cycle of poverty.

Produced by Genesis Foundation, this documentary film is about to fundamentally shift our mindset and understanding of what it takes for a child´s brain to fully develop and reach its true potential and how the early years greatly impact our adult mind. Ultimately, Igniting the Spark seeks to transform and re-address how we think about education, parenting and the skills kids need to thrive.

The filming began in the fall of 2016 in the United States, Mexico and Colombia with the participation of several experts such as Al Race, Mary Young, Takao Hensch, Pia Britto, Craig Ramey, Kimberly Noble, Clancy Blair, Robert Pianta, Timothy Bartik, Janet Jameison, Linda Ritcher, among others; and is set to finish during the summer of 2017.

Get the latest news and updates on Igniting the Spark here:

 www.genesis-foundation.org

2 years in Chocó

Lucila Cecchi

At the beginning of 2016, we expanded the arrival of our Early Childhood program, First Learning Step to Chocó, in the municipalities of Alto, Medio and Bajo Baudó, Bagadó, Cantón de San Pablo, Lloró and Quibdó. In this new implementation we reached 8,126 participants among children, pregnant and lactating mothers in 257 indigenous and Afro-descendant communities.

Among coordinators, psychologists, teachers, pedagogical assistants and psychosocial and administrative staff the program has 357 professionals to the most remote territories of the Department

For these municipalities, the presence of First Learning Step is key to guaranteeing the educational quality given to the children because these communities are marked by: the presence of Groups outside the law, the constant displacement of some communities, precarious or null access to roads. This situation generates intermittence in the educational attention and a constant turnover of teachers and assistants.

Among the most representative difficulties in these municipalities to carry out the program are: Lack of institutionally in municipalities and geographical dispersion and qualification of human talent.

To know more about My First Steps click here

Peace and education: a country’s vision

Lucila Cecchi

On Tuesday 29 of November the Conservatory of Peace and Education: a country’s vision took place chaired by Genesis Foundation.

In a powerful alliance supported by APC Colombia generates the articulation between Genesis Foundation and Mercy Corps with there respective programs: Letters & Numbers and With Peace we Learn More

During the conservatory there were people involved in the program: teachers, students and guardians that told their significant experiences given evidence to the results of the program throughout the year.

Cielo Jaramillo- teacher of Instutución Educativa San José of the municipality of Itagüí and part of the program Letters&Numbers – showed how the programs has been able to improve the literacy and socio-emotional in the girls of the insitution. With this program it creates the iniative of “TravellingStories”, a notebook which passes from house to house of every student so they can potray with the writing resource experiences with their families and stories. “With the program Letters&Numbers crates bonds with education at home and at school.”

Rosa Chavarra- teacher at Bojayá Chocó. “ When the program arrives to our educational institution it start ed to create changes in the dynamic of the classroom, this programs arrived to rescue us. They are really important for the development of our students and communities.

Amalia Cortes- she is a guardian of a boarding school which is located in Puerto Bello at 4 horas of Puerto Asísthat she prefers to call “Casa Estudio”, she states that it is easier for young people to arrive to a place with this name because of the preconceptions that the word boarding school has. When she arrived there were only 11 students, today there are 65 studnets thanks to the arrival of the project,  as well as children and young people have imporved drastically in subjects such as maths and language.

The integral part of the conservatory and to talk about the topic that assembled all the assistants, as a useful tool for education and the construction of peace assisted the following speakers: Enrique Chaux- Associated professor of the Universidad de los Andes. Óscar Sánchez- Coordinator of the program Educapaz and Andrés Ucrós- Director of Construction of Peace at Cámara de Comercio.  Each one of them told their reflection about the significant experiences narrated by the assistants and their points of view according to the extensive experience with education and peace.

Óscar Sánchez talked about the importance that the alliances have with the power of the union, join institutions, NGO’S, government and the private sector to create networks that become contagious.  On the other hand, Enrique Chaux was very emphatic in highlighting how education should be integrated into daily life and stressed the importance of programs such as Letters & Numbers in which children learn not because of infused fear but because of taste and motivation. "Work in education for peace is an integrated work With daily life, the daily relationship with parents and students.”  

Andrés Ucrós, from his experience in peace issues, stresses the importance of remembering that Colombia has gone through different experiences of war and violence that have generated a communicative blockade among Colombians. It highlights how the Letters and Numbers program opens spaces to undo these blocking avoiding repeating patterns.

At the end of the day in which experiences were shared between experts and beneficiaries of the program was the intervention of Alejandro Gamboa, Director of APC Colombia. The Director of the Agency emphasized that Genesis' interest in working on issues of education and peace made APC Colombia decide to make an alliance and work together in territory. From APC Colombia we want to highlight the power of alliances in any field and especially the powerful that can be from education "Allies to build peace is the basis of transformation of our country."