Bolivia is still gorgeous and thanks to the occasional rain it is really refreshing. We are still enjoying the late summertime, the mountains and the wonderful landscapes.

During the third week I had the opportunity to make a reflection about the youth work. Between the walls of the Town Hall I was trying to organize all the information we have collected throughout the school visits and the interviews with the teachers and principals. And it is really important since the last week of our job shadowing we are going to take part in a conference. In this event we are supposed to give a 1-hour long speech about what we have found out about their opportunities, about their future. Hopefully this will be our way to contribute to their life.

We also managed to get more familiar with the bureaucratic background of the Bolivian educational system. It´s not easy to bring new ideas to the schools or show the professors and students something new. Many authorizations are needed, starting from the municipality until the directors of the schools. And even if everything is ready, it doesn’t mean that all will go smoothly. But it´s not strange, and unfortunately not a unique phenomenon. Trying to apply the non-formal methods to the formal system means facing a lot of obstacles.

That´s why I was glad to take part in an activity during the weekend, where we visited an alternative school nearby Samaipata. The “Flor de montaña” implements an alternative way of teaching to primary school kids. The emphasis here is on the different approach. Less strict rules in comparison to the formal, traditional schools and more space to artistic activities, for example. We came here on Saturday because they had a bimonthly activity with teachers, students, parents and volunteers from all over the world. We arranged the yard, built and reconstructed the facilities.

When people work together they can achieve great things. It was a pleasure to see that the kids were also involved in this activity. I believe that those who work with and for the children should spend time with the kids to know them and learn from them. Otherwise the effort is not going to match the true needs. So far, I think this is the most important thing I’ve been able to learn.

 

David