EL SALVADOR: FUSALMO launches online educational platform to reach close to 3,000 youth
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian-run FUSALMO, located in the municipality of Soyapango, El Salvador, has launched an online educational platform called Transforma, which is available to both students and teachers. Transforma offers virtual learning with many resources, games, educational advice, assignments and tasks. From there, users can find a range of topics including cooking, music, recycling and more.
Access to Transforma courses is completely free and is available to all, regardless of the study center of origin, be it private or public. It is expected that around 3,000 children, adolescents and young people will benefit from this service.
The platform, which is fully compatible with mobile devices, was created thanks to FUSALMO Virtual, an initiative to meet the educational needs of Salvadoran children and older youth. FUSALMO Virtual offers courses on technology, art and sports. Within the platform, users can also find courses for learning how to become a bank teller and learn the English language for working in call centers. Additional work is being done to create a virtual tutoring program.
“Online education is becoming more commonplace, especially because of the pandemic, as educational centers try to reach youth in new and dynamic ways,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian centers are always working to meet the changing needs of the youth they serve. This is just another innovative step in providing education.”
FUSALMO offers traditional and non-traditional educational opportunities for at-risk youth. Through recreational programs, enrichment opportunities in the arts and music, vocational training, and more, youth are encouraged to stay off the streets, learn to cooperate and co-exist, and gain the skills they need to become productive, contributing members of a more peaceful society. Founded in 2001, the organization has positively impacted the lives of more than 265,000 children and their families.
El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in Central America, along with Honduras and Guatemala. In 2016, San Salvador was named the murder capital of the world, seeing more murders and violent crime than any other city. Gang violence is a leading cause of violence in the country, and it’s estimated that some 60,000 young people have gang affiliation. Gang involvement often offers a sense of belonging and family that counters the lack of education and employment opportunities offered in the country.
Crime is often associated with poverty and close to 35 percent of El Salvador’s population lives in poverty, according to the World Bank. Youth in El Salvador are confronted not only with poverty, but with instability, high levels of violence and inadequate access to educational opportunities. The need for practical education in El Salvador is more important than ever with 12 percent of youth ages 15-24 unemployed and 41 percent underemployed.
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Salesian Missions – El Salvador
World Bank – El Salvador