Colonia Francisco Morazán, Calle Efraín Villatoro, Casa # 14
San Francisco Gotera, Morazán
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Consciente is a Swiss non-profit association founded in summer 2012. It is managed by an eight-member board working on a voluntary basis. The association is committed to keeping administration costs as low as possible – we send almost 100% of the received donations directly to El Salvador.
While the Swiss association is responsible for financing and support, our local partner Fundación Consciente El Salvador co-designs and executes our projects. The young team in El Salvador is characterized by a great deal of passion and personal commitment as well as its professional and innovative approach. Currently, more than 50 people are employed as coordinators, teachers or administrative staff at the Foundation in El Salvador.
The Swiss and Salvadorian teams are in constant exchange thanks to weekly Skype meetings and half-yearly trips to El Salvador. We attach great importance to a cooperation based on mutual understanding and learning.
If one had to make a brief description of the educational system in El Salvador, it could be done using the following three expressions: Copy, learn by heart, reproduce. Education in El Salvador usually has little to do with understanding, discovering, discussing, forming an opinion or developing one’s own ideas. At school, children rather learn to accept that they do not understand what it is all about. Consequently, little is remembered. After nine years of primary education, many youth neither have solid skills in writing and arithmetic, nor have they learned to think for themselves or to act creatively.
Not only the low quality of education is a major problem, but also the bad access thereto. For young people from poor backgrounds, their educational career usually comes to an end after primary school or high school. Academic and technical training is reserved for those whose families can afford it.
However, a country like El Salvador which suffers from serious social problems – the highest murder rate in the world, to name but one – is in urgent need of well-trained young people who can bring about social change.
This is why Consciente is committed to a creative and critical education for all. In our eyes, this is the key to a sustainable bottom-up development process. In this sense, our project work pursues three distinct goals:
- Promoting equal access to education for all, irrespective of socio-economic background: Scholarship Program
- Improving the quality of education in local schools: Educational Innovation Program
- Promoting the discussion of important social and environmental issues: Sustainability Education Program