Written 1996


The Mothers Will Take Over
 Alfabetizacion Intergeneracional
 (Fundacion Años Magicos)

 by Sam Laybourne
  Tuesday July 9, 1996

Anos workspace    A town of 1600 people, Bajada de Chanduy is faced with the problem of having one store, one school, and four bars. The lure of alcohol in this small impoverished town has drawn many men away from the responsibility of fatherhood, leaving women to both support and look after their large families. Esquel and the child care program of Fundacion Años Magicos have started a new project in Bajada de Chanduy that provides mothers with new methods of educating their children in hopes of stimulating the entire family.
library    For 11 years, Fundacion Anos Magicos has been both a child care center for 2-6 year olds and a library for kids ages 7-14. While the center provides extensive care and nutrition for infants, the library operates in the afternoon, providing youths with recreational facilities, education in reading, writing, and math, as well as direction in short theatrical scenes dealing with community issues. Although the library is extremely successful in facilitating the development of its students, it operates
with a meager 200 books.
    With the help of Esquel, co-directors of the child center, Maria Del Carmen Ordonez and Rosa Pogo Romero, have developed a project called Alfabetizacion Intergeneracional that puts education of children in the hands of community mothers. Through a personalized method of child stimulation, the mothers actually create educational materials for their children, including story books, posters, songs, and games.They write and illustrate stories1 based of local lore and modern day fables. As Rosa explained, "The center is theirs, not ours. We give the mothers ideas about how to teach and they do the rest." Each mother has a flexible work schedule within the center that accounts for their busy lives as mothers.
    With the cooperation of over 270 children and mothers, the program has affected a significant portion of Bajada de Chanduy. Along with developing a continuing education program that stimulates both parents and children, in the future, Fundacion Años Magicos hopes to enhance the community in other ways. The dedicated co-directors hope to teach mothers new crafts that will enable them to earn money while working at home, instruct women in preventative health and nutrition, and preserve the town ecology through traditional agricultural methods. The goal is towards total self-sufficiency. "Hopefully in a few years," Maria Ordonez explained, "We will be able to leave Bajada and the mothers will take over."


Home People2People Synergos

Written 1996