In January 2014, ASOEMPO in partnership with the Village of Barra de Lámpara and the parents of ten villages founded a secondary school and started operating school boats to address the high rate of adolescent girls and boys out of school. We put the word out on the river: If you want to go to school, we’ll drive by your village and pick you up.
More than 100 children ages 12-18 from ten rural communities enrolled—half of them girls. Within only two months, the school was recognized by the Ministry of Education as a public school and within five months, the Ministry and the municipal government of Livingston committed to help fund teachers beginning in 2015.
And so the Instituto Nacional Educación Básica de Barra de Lámpara came into being. Together with many collaborators and supporters, we have created a sustainable solution for secondary education in our rural area—essential to empowering girls and benefiting all youth.