Help Children in El Salvador
El Salvador, a small country in Central America, has suffered a long history of violence and war and currently has one of the highest gang violence rates in the world. The majority of young people and children are exposed to a very high risk of joining a “mara” (gang) and have difficulty seeing alternatives for a brighter future.
An IBREA-led conference in the United Nations in 2011 triggered this project. The Ambassador of El Salvador, who attended the conference, was encouraged to do a pilot project in his country. He had recently visited one of the most troubled schools in the outskirts of San Salvador, in a community plagued with gang violence and drug abuse.
IBREA started its program in that school, with a group of 39 students and 20 teachers. The program provided the full curriculum through regular sessions every day for a period of almost 4 months. The results were substantial and promising.
CLICK HERE TO SEE RESEARCH RESULTS IN EL SALVADOR 2011
Despite such a difficult context they were submerged in, by releasing their tension and focusing on themselves, the participants started to recover their hope and strength. IBREA has many stories to share and wish they could convey all the details. The best way for you to get a sense of this project is through Laura’s story, one of the students.
In 2012, the Ministry of Education asked IBREA to expand the program to 4 more schools. With the help of the Ministry of Education in Korea and the Global Cyber University, IBREA had the capacity to benefit 12 groups of teachers and students in 4 schools.
The results were also great, and the Ministry of Education asked IBREA to expand its projects throughout the country. With IBREA’s small team, that was no easy task, but the organization was able to reach over 200 principals of schools and reform its program to provide a training of trainers to ensure a multiplier effect through participants’ commitment to teach the program within their school.
In 2013, IBREA developed a partnership with the Salvadorian Institute of Educator’s Wellbeing (ISBM) and provided the program to 230 principals and teachers annually, as well as a group of medical doctors, psychologists and other staff of their institution, who deal with educators on a daily basis. Since, then, because of the replicating efforts of the program’s participants, the number of beneficiaries and their health, social wellbeing and academic results keep growing.
Gloria, one of the principals who went through the program and sustained it well as a regular practice in her school, saw tremendous changes over the years. Her school was one of the most problematic schools in San Salvador. Her strength and courage are inspirational, bringing her all the way to Korea in 2013 to participate in a Convention on education and share her experience. Here is her testimony.
- 2011: one school
- 2012: 4 schools
- 2013: 230 schools
- 2014: 194 schools
- 2015: 1,260 people certified as Brain Education trainers
- 2016 projection: 2,520 people certified as Brain Education trainers