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Canada supports public schools in Uruguay

Canada supports public schools in Uruguay

Posted by PanamericanWorld on April 15, 2014

Relations between Canada and Uruguay are as solid as the values the both share, such as Democracy and transparent and effective governance. In the words of Claire A. Poulin, Canadian Ambassador in Uruguay ''Canada and Uruguay have always had and strengthened strong and vibrant bilateral bonds. Our diplomatic relations date back more than 70 years and they are based on a close interaction between our people, great mutual respect and a strong desire to work for world peace''.

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) finances small - scale projects for a total of up to C$20.000 and it's administrated directly by the Canadian Embassy.

As a product of this Fund, one particular work must be highlighted, due to its human nature: the economic support to public schools in different geographic points of Uruguay.

In the Latinamerican country, public schools are named after great personalities - local or global - and they are also named after countries Uruguay has a close relation with. In the southern nation, there are three schools named Canada.

In the province of Florida, in the central-south region of the country, Canada School received, on behalf of the Embassy of the North Giant, recreational material and sports equipment, with the objective of boosting expressive and communicative behaviour in students.

The second Canada School, in Montevideo (capital of the country) was benefited with a psychomotor therapy room - a privilege that many private schools don't yet have- and with the increase of technological resources in the English Room. These new resources will surely develop the holistic potential in children and they also intend to consolidate successfully the acquisition of a second language; nothing less than English, so imperative in a hyper- connected world. In appreciation for such a valuable contribution, students from Canada School - Montevideo organised a festival with drawings and drums music: a pure candombe(*) moment!

Nevertheless, no other school was as benefited as the Canada School in Barra de Tala, Canelones, a coastal province in the South of Uruguay. The donations for this particular school weren't, of course, bigger or more generous than for the other two, but this Canada School is a rural school.

The reality of rural schools in Uruguay (and in all Latin America) is often very tough. Students must get up really early to travel long distances and get in time to their lessons. Sometimes they go horseback and frequently, on foot, coping with all possible weather conditions.

This particular school is in a critical context area. Some children live four kilometres from their educational centre that plays not only the traditional academic role, but it is also an important community centre for the whole neighbourhood: birthdays are celebrated there, and integration and charitable activities are held within its walls.

The Canada School in Barra de Tala was a priority for the Fund. It was given didactic materials, equipment for physical activities and most importantly; the school canteen was extended - sadly, for some children, the meals that are given in the canteen is their only meal, or practically.

Fortunately, Canada, just like Uruguay, knows that mega - investments are useless if a country doesn't prioritise their children, because it's them who, in the future, will be able to build that world peace the Ambassador made reference to.

(*)Typical Uruguayan rhythm with African roots (originated with slaves arrival in Río de la Plata) declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Written by Pris Guinovart for PanamericanWorld. Montevideo

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