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Home Visits – Empowerment Through Personal Guidance

May 22, 2008

Cutie at the doorLast year Margarita lost her father and consequently her motivation to continue her studies. If it were not for the home visits by the team at Empowerment International, she would have dropped out of school all together.

However, thanks to the frequent counseling by the team, a new bond of trust was formed and not only did she resume her studies but also started interning for EI. In fact, she has become the first person in her family to go to college, inspiring her younger brother to follow in her able footsteps.

There are many such stories hiding within the crowded barrios of Granada.

Stories of parents who considered education a waste of time until personal interaction with the EI volunteers changed their perspectives.Stories of teenagers tired of juggling physically demanding jobs and mentally challenging studies, but, nevertheless, hanging on after getting inspired by EI workers to finish studies.

A lot of this change in attitude can be credited to the consistent and encouraging home visits carried out by the EI team. Thanks to these visits, children have improved their school attendance, school grades, and neatness on their workbooks. Today, children as well as parents who failed to understand the need of education, are the most eager participants in EI’s program.

The objective of the home visits is to make sure that the children are attending school and are improving their educational process. Their backpacks and workbooks are reviewed in order to check that they are using the materials provided by EI. The staff also observes their personal hygiene and use of backpacks and uniforms (both provided by EI). Also, the team tries to teach the parents how to best provide positive feedback to their children regardless of their own education level. Sometimes this takes a bit of creativity.<

A home visit becomes a significant tool to monitor and follow up on children’s school activities. The visits take place throughout the year and the strengths and weaknesses of the kids are analyzed. The basic aim is to learn about the problems faced by the students. Many tend to lose interest in studies due to the difficulties encountered in balancing school and work (which they need to do to sustain themselves and their families).

The staff of EI gathers information regarding attendance and grades through meetings with the school personnel every two months. With that information in hand, the staff then determines the causes behind poor grades or low attendance. Sometimes students themselves are unwilling to continue studies but often, parents are at fault too. Therefore, the staff meets with the parents on a monthly basis and discusses the difficulties while asking for their support during the following month.

The main idea of the home visits is to establish a strong rapport between parents, children, Nicaraguan Staff, and EI interns. Personal visits help establish trust between the volunteers and the families and allows direct communication with them. Importantly, these home visits prevent school drop outs through constant monitoring, support and counseling.

In a nutshell, home visits aim to groom kids into confident, educated and healthy individuals ready for a bright future.

Neha Singh

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In Nicaragua 50% of the kids that start 1st grade never make it to 5th grade. It is our goal to make this percentage drop significantly.

$30/month is what it takes us at Empowerment International to put a child in school. If you would like to help a child stay in school and get better life, please click on the link below or contact us

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