When Compassion first partnered with the local church in Amavenou, the community was very reluctant and chose not to send their children to the center. The parents were skeptical, unconvinced of the importance of education and medical care. However, as the center began offering education and support for the children and community, positive changes were evident in the children's lives. As parents began to discuss their children's well-being, they began to see the importance of education.
"Education has changed many things in our community. Many more people are coming to the church and Compassion center," says Silvestre, the center director.
Just as the community began to embrace the center, COVID-19 interrupted the momentum. "The thought of not seeing the joy that the curriculum had been providing to these children was heavy on my heart," says Silvestre. "These children are so precious to me, especially with the newfound hope that was growing in them."
So, Silvestre decided to visit children in their homes while wearing a mask and respecting social distancing. His team agreed to join him. "I was positively surprised by my team's reaction. All the center staff and volunteers adopted the idea. This is how our new way of implementing the curriculum was born," says Silvestre.
They began to record lessons as audio files, copying them on USB drives and playing them in each home where small groups of children would gather. Surprisingly, children became interested in this type of teaching.
"I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish. It is a total joy. I appreciate the socioemotional lesson in particular — one developed by Compassion. This lesson has brought my community together and brought so many positive changes," says Silvestre.