Photo voltaic panels, batteries and radios guarantee distant training – MissionNewswire
Salesian missionaries in Yaupi are providing solar panels, radios, and batteries to ensure youths continue their education remotely
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Yaupi, Ecuador are looking for innovative ways to ensure youth can continue their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yaupi and the surrounding area are remote and there is no internet access and no TV signal. Missionaries have provided kits with solar panels, batteries, and radios to families in 20 wards to ensure that young people can access their classes and continue their education from home.
According to UNICEF, only 37 percent of families in Ecuador have an internet connection. In rural areas, only 16 percent of households have a network connection. This means that many children cannot study at home, which is vital as many areas are focused on distance learning during the pandemic.
“Due to the distance of these regions of the Amazon and the poor access of families to technology, Salesian missionaries must find alternative means to ensure that young people do not miss school,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions. the US development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “This is not only happening in Ecuador, but around the world. From reducing class sizes and outdoor lessons to providing online learning, Salesian missionaries are adapting new curricula to suit the circumstances in their local communities. Education has always been and will always be a major focus for Salesians. “
In early autumn, the Salesian Province of Ecuador, in collaboration with the Don Bosco Mission and the Salesian Polytechnic University, launched the “Donate Your Computer” campaign to provide technology tools to vulnerable populations in 12 cities across the country. This campaign featured a wide range of technologies including tablets, laptops, personal computers, keyboards, mice, screens, speakers and electrical cables.
The original goal of the campaign was to provide 500 technological tools that enable children and older teens to take virtual classes, continue to meet their classmates digitally, do their homework and, through education, keep hopes for a better world alive.
According to UNICEF, Ecuador is one of the most unjust societies in the world. The richest 20 percent of the population receive almost 50 percent of the national income, while the poorest 20 percent receive only 5 percent. According to the World Food Program, nearly 26 percent of all children under the age of 5 have stunted growth, rising to 31 percent in rural areas and 47 percent in indigenous communities.
Almost 20 percent of the population of Ecuador are people of indigenous heritage. For poor, rural and indigenous youth, education is the best opportunity to find work, reduce inequalities and break the cycle of poverty. Salesian Missionaries have provided educational and other social programs to disadvantaged youth across Ecuador for more than 125 years.
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