URUGUAY, www.providencia.org.uy •
Community involvement, collaboration with other institutions, and the ability to build with other participants in society are fundamental keys to Providencia’s daily work. In this regard, being able to build and work with the formal education institutions attended by the children who attend the Children’s Club and Youth Center is fundamental to accompany their educational path. —
The complementary nature of these programs to formal education, being able to share the experiences of each center and implement joint strategies, allows us to better accompany the children’s educational paths. This complementary link provides an opportunity to promote continuity in the formal education system.
This necessarily implies “constant dialogue, closeness, making ourselves available…”, said Laura Voituret, Providencia’s general director.
The Children’s Club
In this regard, the Children’s Club seeks to strengthen the work carried out by school teachers and educators at Providencia, to whom relevant information is shared about the learning process of the students. The aim is to articulate and coordinate their pedagogical actions with those of the public schools attended by the children.
The Children’s Club is open in the afternoons and is attended by 113 children who are, in the mornings, enrolled in various public schools in the area. With the purpose of accompanying them in the development of their school career, Providencia works through different teaching and learning methodologies such as “project-based learning”, in order to offer spaces for enjoyment and learning that complement the school’s proposal.
Within the work plan with the schools, we make at least three visits a year in which we present our educational proposal, share relevant information about the students’ processes and look for spaces where we can think about strategies together. We work with classroom teachers, community teachers and management teams. “With the classroom teachers we exchange ideas, proposals and processes of the children, on the other hand, with the community teachers and the management teams we articulate everything related to the family approach, we think together how to better accompany the families. This has an enormous potential, two teams thinking and enriching their practices to better accompany the children, two teams complementing their strengths and putting them at the service of the children and families together. This has enormous potential,” Laura emphasized.
A support network that accompanies
From the Youth Center we are building a link with the high schools and UTUs (technical, professional and technological education institutions at the basic, intermediate and community college levels) in the area where the teenagers attend. This year Providencia is receiving 70 young people in the afternoons, who attend other formal education centers in the mornings.
The Youth Center is a space where young people have a daily study area, tutoring to strengthen key learning areas and workshops that respond to their interests and motivations. The objective is to accompany them, to reinforce their learning and at the same time to be a place of enjoyment that can ensure that they complete their second cycle of studies and project themselves towards community college, job placement or the realization of their personal projects.
In many cases, we have known these young people since they joined the Children’s Club, which allows us to contribute all this knowledge to create strategies together with the leaders of the high schools and UTUs they attend.
Florencia Cruces, coordinator of the Youth Center, highlighted these first meetings with the institutions, ” From the beginning of the year, we went out to visit the high schools and UTUs. In these meetings with the school management and students we received a very positive response, open to work as a team, understanding the strengths of each of the institutions and the potential that exists in this collaborative work”.
This collaboration allows us to enrich our work with young people, to have a broader view and more tools to better accompany them during the year.
“This network helps young people to visualize that there is a single line of work, that we are all working in the same direction and that the objective is to accompany each one of them on their own path,” emphasized Florencia.
We are still building links, growing and accompanying the young people, seeking to understand their different experiences and educational paths, which results in a closer work and a broader vision to continue walking with them.
The Providencia Educational Center is located in the Casabó neighborhood, Cerro Oeste (Montevideo, Uruguay). We currently work with 700 children, youth and their families through 5 educational programs: Community House, Children’s Club, High School, Youth Center and Job Training Program.
Original: Spanish 2022-05-04. Translated by: Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México