Projects

Our work is divided into 3 project lines.
  • Scholarship Program

    Our Scholarship Program helps committed young people from poor backgrounds to obtain a technical or university education.

  • Sustainability Education Program

    In the Sustainability Education Program, we use participatory educational activities to promote the critical discussion of important social and environmental issues.

Scholarship Program

For many young people living it the department of Morazán in El Salvador, going to university represents their greatest yet usually unattainable lifetime dream. Most families lack the financial means to bear the costs of tertiary education. However, the region is in urgent need of well-trained young people who can bring about social change. For this reason, Consciente has launched a scholarship program for talented young men and women from poor households. Depending on the financial situation of the family, beneficiaries are supported with 50-150 USD per month. This enables them to complete the technical or university career of their choice.

In addition to providing monetary scholarships, we operate a student residence for geographically marginalized youth. In two residential buildings, 21 young people from poor and remote communities receive board and lodging. Thanks to this non-monetary scholarship, they can complete their training at the technical university in the small town of San Francisco Gotera.

During their studies, scholarship holders are supported and accompanied by Consciente. They take part in meetings, workshops and educational camps and develop their own social or ecological projects in local communities. It is important to us that future professionals commit themselves to sharing their knowledge and assuming responsibility in society.

Consciente in Numbers

112

SCHOLARSHIP HOLDERS ARE CURRENTLY BENEFITING FROM AN EDUCATION.

+10000

HOURS OF SOCIAL SERVICE WERE ACCOMPLISHED BY THE SCHOLARSHIP HOLDERS IN 2018.

+5000

YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE DEPARTMENT HAVE SO FAR TAKEN PART IN OUR WORKSHOPS ON GENDER OR ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.

2400

PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN PARTICIPATED IN INTERACTIVE MATHS CLASSES IN 2018.

Educational Innovation Program

While access to primary school education worldwide has improved massively in recent years, its quality often remains alarmingly low in the Global South. El Salvador provides a prime example of an ineffective education system. Learning at public primary schools is usually limited to monotonous copying and memorization. It is not surprising that the children show little motivation and hardly learn anything. For example, in our diagnostic study with more than 2000 school children in Morazán, only 25% of third graders were able to compute “16 – 8” and even among sixth graders, one out of three students got the equation wrong. The situation is even more worrying among teachers. In a test with 50 prospective math teachers, only 40 per cent could add fractions correctly, roughly 25 per cent could convert seconds into hours, and even fewer were able to calculate the area of a triangle.

In our Educational Innovation Program we try to improve the quality of education in public schools using creative ideas and scientific evidence. Our current project “CAL-IMPACT” offers 2,400 primary school children interactive mathematics lessons – with the help of an innovative didactic concept that combines individualized learning on the computer with games and group work.

CAL-IMPACT

A pilot project of the Educational Innovation Program

The SDC award-winning “CAL-IMPACT” (Computer-Assisted Learning) project contributes to improving the quality of primary school education in rural El Salvador. We want to show that young teachers in El Salvador – when provided with suitable resources and adequate preparation and support – are quite capable of inspiring children to learn. The project focuses on the math skills of third to sixth grade children and combines the use of computer software with games, group work and workshop lessons. In the pilot year 2018, 120 school classes take part in additional mathematics lessons that combine interactive learning on the computer with playful methods and workshop lessons. For this purpose, 40 young teachers received further training in technical and interactive didactics. Thanks to generous donations of materials from various Swiss companies, computer rooms could be set up at 29 schools and equipped with educational software.

In cooperation with the University of Bern and the ETH, the project was systematically evaluated in 2018 – with positive results! The scientific findings are not only relevant for the further development of the project, but also represent a valuable knowledge base for a scientifically informed development process in general.


  • Additional lessons for 120 school classes

    2400 students attend additional mathematics lesson twice a week. There, they can systematically work through their individual learning gaps.

  • Interactive learning on the computer

    With the help of the “Khan Academy” platform, children can learn at their own pace.

  • Playful methods

    Maths and concentration games promote motivation and joint learning.

  • Scientific evaluation

    The project is being scientifically evaluated in collaboration with the University of Bern.

Sustainability Education Program

Our Program for Sustainability Education combines education with social commitment. Our workshops, seminars, forums and congresses are designed to encourage young people to think about and discuss societal and ecological problems and to commit themselves to social change. The focus is on key issues such as gender equality, violence, environmental protection, voluntary work and political participation.

In our current sustainability education project, carefully selected volunteers are trained in participatory didactics and in the areas of “gender and violence” and “environment and climate”. These young men and women then hold workshops with school classes and youth and community organizations. A support program and a small project fund are available for young people who wish to start projects in the gender or environmental field.

Each of our annual youth congresses brings together around 200 representatives of local youth organizations for an exchange of goals and methods of social commitment lasting several days. To this end, we cooperate with the SCI Switzerland.