The Step by Step Project, developed by both the Las Golodrian Foundation and the
Marina Orth Foundation, has had a truly positive impact in various communities, especially the “Comuna Ocho” in Medellin. The Comuna Ocho is one of the most difficult areas of the city, where violence and the infamous “invisible frontiers” have caused many hardships on the community; nevertheless this has not been an obstacle in our mission to continue educating the 650 boys, girls and adolescents who have the opportunity to interact with the technological advantages of this program. It has been extremely gratifying to witness the development and positive impact the kids have had in interacting with others using the internet. They have had the opportunity to learn from various sites and programs, such as Wikipedia, Scratch, Tux Pain, Memorize, Tux Math, Gcompris, Falabracman, among other, all thanks to our classroom projects and their teachers.
The students arrive everyday full of energy, anxious to share with their teachers and
classmates the new games, techniques, and solutions they have discovered using
their computers. The joy of learning transcends the classroom; even their parents
have expressed their happiness in seeing their young ones use these programs. It has
encouraged them to enroll in the different workshops offered by the Foundation so that they too can benefit from learning to use these computers, thus the learning experience can now continue at home.
The most adventurous, creative, and resourceful students have not only gained the
personal satisfaction of their teachers’ recognition, they have consolidated a monitor group in the Step by Step project, a status which places them in a privileged position inside the learning community. It enables them to assist their teachers, work with the younger students and help repair certain computer problems. They also have the opportunity to attend specific workshops such as robotics, English lessons, informatics, and repair and maintenance of both conventional and XO computers: they are our biggest helpers inside the project as well as a source of inspiration to the younger ones.
Our students generally range in age from 5-13, a range which by no means has been
an obstacle to the younger generations’ hunger for learning. These small technological geniuses have benefited from the new learning techniques offered by these computers.
They regard these computers as their most prized possession; for they know it represents the opportunity to pursue their education using more advanced methods. They take very good care of their equipment, carefully storing them inside their own bags, cleaning them on a regular basis, and even imprinting their own personality and individuality on it. The whole process has been a reflection on the values that we try to implement on the community (solidarity, respect, responsibility, compromise, tolerance, team work…) and is the result of a day to day interaction with them, not only inside the classroom but also during their breaks and walks home. Up to date, NOT A SINGLE COMPUTER HAS BEEN UNACOUNTED FOR, this shows how well the community has responded to our informational campaigns where we have outlined the importance of social and educational changes.