The Value of a Visit

Visiting Parents and students continues to be an essential part of FAF work in the field.

Two women stand at the edge of a river. They roll up their pant legs. Adjusting their backpacks, shoes in hand, they prepare to cross the river. The river is low. Today it is safe. The rains have been kind. Still, the water wets their feet reminding them of the difficult journey students undertake to make it to school.   

In the back of a pick-up truck, on horseback, and on foot, Fundacion Academia Forum’s Profesora Elvia Martinez and Sandra Rodriguez traverse the mountains of Northern Cocle. No matter how difficult the road, or how many rivers they must cross, these women are committed to reaching the homes of beneficiaries. 

The path taken brings with it many lessons. Each step is a reminder of the difficulty students overcome to sit in their classrooms and take on the challenge of learning. 

After returning from several community visits, Profesora Elvia and Community Center Coordinator Sandra shared their experience. 

“When I visit the beneficiaries’ communities, I am very happy to meet the students’ families. Seeing the long journey many of them walk at one o’clock in the morning every Monday to get to the bus stop and go to their schools, is always amazing to me. These visits help us strengthen our relationships with families. It helps motivate parents to continue working together with us so that their children can finish high school. Our presence helps instill in them the drive to never forget where they come from. We hope that they will return to their communities to share what they have learned with affection and respect. 

 – Elvia Martinez Head of Programs

“Community visits are very important to me. They bring me a lot of joy.  Talking to the families and learning a little more about where each of our beneficiaries come from is gratifying. This allows me to better understand their needs and the situations they have faced. To know what challenges they must overcome on a daily basis. Like the long journeys they undertake to get to and from their schools. Often exposed to bad weather, I get better idea of why they might be struggling with their grades. I also realize the enormous accomplishment of getting good grades even with the difficulties they might face. Each of our beneficiaries confront different challenges, that is why our visits are important. It helps them feel valued, emotionally supported, and that is a fundamental part of what we do.” -Sandra Rodriguez Community Center Coordinator

Visits to beneficiaries’ homes and communities remain an important part of Fundacion Academia Forum’s work. From its inception, efforts to recruit and motivate families and students to pursue their education have been constant. We are committed to continue working with students by providing scholarships, resources, and learning assistance, that enable them to reach graduation.

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