NICARAGUA: In-person activities supporting youth begin
St. John Bosco Oratory in Granada resumes activities after closing during the pandemic
(MissionNewswire) The St. John Bosco Oratory in Granada, Nicaragua, has opened and resumed activities. The oratory had been closed to in-person activities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1915, the St. John Bosco Oratory has been a center for meetings and friendships. Now, the courtyards are once again filled with youth and the sounds of laughter, friendly encounters and soccer matches.
COVID-19 forced millions of people into isolation and caused a major disruption in educational systems around the globe. Salesian programs in Granada had to find an alternative to supporting youth during this time. The San Juan Bosco Salesian Institute in Granada sought a number of alternatives to continue providing quality education to its students, including utilizing technology for online education.
The Inter-American Development Bank has noted, “The pandemic has had a direct impact on the education systems of all the countries in the region, involving students, families, ministries, secretariats, schools, teachers and principals. The closure of schools to contain the spread of the virus has brought more than 165 million students out of school, from kindergarten to higher education.”
The Salesian Institute used interactive blogs and Google for Education G-Suite tools. Salesian educators responded to the needs expressed by parents while ensuring that students still received an enriching educational experience. Teachers tapped into a wealth of audiovisual resources to make the teaching and learning process more dynamic and interactive. Many teachers, although initially fearful, began recording their lessons and providing them to students.
Many youth, who faced close to a year of lockdown, are excited and hopeful to once again be able to meet with their peers and have the in-person support of their teachers and other Salesian staff. Opening the oratory, with safety measures in place, is a step for them in returning to a “normal” way of life. Some educational lessons in Salesian schools are still being taught online for the time being.
Nicaragua, the poorest country in Central America and the second poorest in the Western Hemisphere, has widespread underemployment and poverty with a quarter of its population living below the poverty line, according to the World Bank. More than 80 percent of Nicaragua’s poor live in remote rural communities where access to basic services is a daily challenge.
Years of widespread poverty have taken their toll and many residents suffer from poor health conditions including HIV/AIDS. In addition, crime, violence against women, gang violence and high unemployment result in challenging economic and social conditions, particularly for young people and women.
ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)
Salesian Missions – Nicaragua
World Bank – Nicaragua