Costa Rica

Monge Foundation-IDB Alliance
Thanks to an investment of ¢2,000 million Colones, 800 Costa Rican high school students from the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM, as per its Spanish acronym) will be trained to meet the demand of the country’s advanced manufacturing sector. This will be posible thanks to an alliance agreed upon by the Monge Foundation, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Ministry of Public Education (MEP, as per its Spanish acronym) entitled “Generating Capabilities in the New Labor Force for the Economy of Knowledge”. The launch event included the participation of Mrs. Sonia Marta Mora (Minister of Education), Mr. Fidel Jaramillo (IDB Representative in Costa Rica), as well as representatives from CINDE and from the advanced manufacturing sector. Many thanks to our allies and to all who are joining us in our continued efforts to attain a positive change!

Meeting Bernardo Toro

At the beginning of August, we were kindly visited by the renowned philosopher and international Colombian speaker Bernardo Toro and president of the AVINA Foundation, who shared a workshop with the Monge Foundation team.

The session was aimed at exchanging knowledge and experiences to improve our results in this highway to happiness we are mapping out for our “SOY CAMBIO” students.

Fundación Monge and CARSI promote employment program in Costa Rica

Last November, the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) granted Fundación Monge a $210,000 subsidy. The grant will be used in 2017 to fund a youth employment program in the Grande de Térraba educational region located in southern Costa Rica. Due to this, 50 scholarships were given by “Soy Cambio”. Students with a scholarship will receive English classes, workshops on socioemotional skills, and lessons on life projects and business management. We want to thank Ambassador Fitzgerald Haney, and all of the staff of the United States embassy. Furthermore, we would like to congratulate the other organizations who were awarded with the grant in the ceremony that took place in Grupo Monge’s corporate offices in Escazú.

Beneficiaries at English Camp

From July 4th to the 15th, a group of 20 “SOY CAMBIO” scholarship beneficiaries from academic and technical high schools participated in the JumpStar Camp, in order for them to reinforce their knowledge of the English language and at the same time improve their employability profile.

These camps take place twice a year, during the students’ vacation period and are given by English speaking teachers. The initiative allows this young population to improve its English level by 7% compared to others who receive regular English lessons.

Companies Welcomed 50 CARSI-SOY CAMBIO Students

 On July 8th, 50 scholarship holders from the province of Puntarenas visited Western Union and Samtec (located in Lindora and in Alajuela, respectively) so they could learn more about the processes that take place within these companies and the career options with a higher demand in the labor market.

Lectures, tours and activities with a recreational approach were part of the components of these visits included within the “Employability” module of our “SOY CAMBIO” program.

Six scholars visit NASA facilities

The moment has finally come! Six young leaders with an outstanding academic performance visited NASA facilities to witness firsthand the activities preceding the launch of the new GOES-16 satellite. Costa Rican scientist, Dr. Sandra Cauffman, kindly extended the invitation to Fundación Monge in March 2016. The dreams of Celinne, Daniel, Diana, Elián, José André, and Valeria came true on November 4th when they landed in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Upon arrival, they had a tight schedule that included a guided tour in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the Apollo/Saturn V Center, and the Space Shuttle Atlantis display. They also talked to astronauts and rode simulators. We will share some of the images from the visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center of the six students with a scholarship from “Soy Cambio”.

50 Southern Zone Students Are the “SOY CAMBIO-UNESCO” Generation

On April 14th, 2016, the Costa Rica National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO and the Monge Foundation welcomed 50 high school students from the “SOY CAMBIO-UNESCO” Generation who live in the country’s Southern Zone.

They are ninth or tenth graders from the Osa Professional Technical High School (Colegio Técnico Profesional de Osa), Yimba Cajc [Rey Curré] Rural High School (Liceo Rural Yimba Cajc [Rey Curré]), Boca de Sierpe Rural High School (Liceo Rural Boca de Sierpe), Bahía Drake Tele-High School [Long Distance High School] (Telesecundaria de Bahía Drake), Pacífico Sur of Ciudad Cortés High School (Liceo Pacífico Sur de Ciudad Cortés) and Finca Alajuela of Chacarita of Osa High School (Liceo Finca Alajuela de Chacarita de Osa).

As well as a monthly scholarship, students will receive follow-up and support from a network of mentors (guidance counselors from the high schools) and from Monge Foundation professionals.

Launching “SOY CAMBIO-ACCESS”

On November 25th, 2015, 80 students became a part of the “SOY CAMBIO-ACCESS” program. This initiative is aimed at improving the employability of the scholarship beneficiaries by increasing their knowledge of the English language. This project is the result of an agreement between the Monge Foundation, the Embassy of the United States of America in Costa Rica and the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center (and the support of the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education).

We are sharing with you some of the most memorable pictures taken during the opening activity, at the John XXIII Social Elementary High School, located in Dulce Nombre, Tres Rios.

”Soy Cambio” Workshops and Camps

Every year, we organize several workshops with “SOY CAMBIO” students from ninth grade onwards. During these activities we cover subjects such as: self-esteem, being an integral human being, interests and abilities, assertive communication and personal brand/branding, through activities with a recreational approach that lead to personal reflection and involve an active participation from the students.

As part of this module entitled “Beyond High School” (“Más allá del cole”), we also organize a camp with the students that are about to conclude high school in order to gather information on all they have learned and analyze how they can apply this knowledge in the future (whether they enroll in higher education or if they choose to work).

The Monge Foundation and the Crece Latinoamérica Foundation
join forces to strengthen the “SOY CAMBIO” Program

The Monge Foundation and the Crece Latinoamérica Foundation –implementing branch of the social responsibility programs offered by the Foreign Trade Bank of Latin America, Inc. (Banco Latinoamericano de Comercio Exterior, S.A., [Bladex, as per the Spanish acronym]), have joined efforts to make it possible for the beneficiaries of the Monge Foundation’s “SOY CAMBIO” Student Leadership and Employability Program scholarship to have more and better tools and opportunities to improve their employability profile.

This alliance will intensify the financial investment destined to train students in regards to socio emotional abilities, which will be key factors when entering and successfully remaining within the job market.

“For the Monge Foundation it is a great honor for the Bladex Bank Crece Latinoamérica Foundation to have become one our donating parties and allies. We will secure your trust by improving the education processes of our scholarship beneficiaries in order to expand and improve their chances to obtain high-demand jobs in the short-term”, said Byron Salas, Executive Director of the Monge Foundation.

The Monge Foundation’s “SOY CAMBIO” initiative currently supports 1,075 students from Costa Rica and 450 from Nicaragua.

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Nicaragua

60 Nicaraguan Beneficiaries at the First SOY CAMBIO Camp

On July 20th and 21th, 60 Nicaraguan students took part in the First “SOY CAMBIO” Camp at the ‘Padre Luis Amigó’ Spirituality Center (CEPLA, as per its Spanish acronym).

The scholarship beneficiaries are completing technical careers such as Food Technology and Industrial Mechanics at the Victoria Foundation. During the event, activities with a recreational and thought provoking approach were organized. In addition, they shared conversations on Self-Esteem, Leadership and Team Work.

Scholarship Beneficiaries Received English Training

A total of 92 students from our “SOY CAMBIO” program were selected to attend a technical course in English at the Nicaraguan Culture Center.

At the beginning of June, these ninth, tenth and eleventh graders received their first certificate of approval after completing level 1 of the 14 that make up the course.

25 Students at School Fair

Last June 3rd, 25 eleventh graders from our “SOY CAMBIO” program who reside in Managua, Tipitapa, San Rafael del Sur and Nagarote participated in the IV Student Fair: “A Step towards Innovation” organized every year by the Victoria Foundation.

During this activity, the eleventh graders from technical careers belonging to the Victoria Foundation –and benefitted with a scholarship by “SOY CAMBIO” as well— received these 25 students in order to show them their Business Plans, including initiatives such as: a plastic grinder, a packaging machine, a drawing machine, coconut and ginger drinks and pineapple vinegar, among others.

SOY CAMBIO Workshops

Over 300 Nicaraguan students have participated in workshops as part of the “Beyond High School” module, which are offered to our ninth, tenth and eleventh grade beneficiaries with the objective of having them recognize their strengths and improve their employability profile.

Through lectures and activities with a recreational approach, we have shared a wide variety of aspects concerning knowledge and experiences on Self-Esteem, Life Projects, Resolving Conflicts and Emotional Intelligence.

School Supplies for Beneficiaries

At the end of January, just before the beginning of the school year, the privately-owned company El Gallo Más Gallo –through the Monge Foundation– officially delivered 400 packages of school supplies to students.

They received school uniforms, as well as a backpack with notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, geometry sets and other necessary learning items. This initiative represents further proof that we strongly support Nicaraguan education.

25 Students at School Fair

Last June 3rd, 25 eleventh graders from our “SOY CAMBIO” program who reside in Managua, Tipitapa, San Rafael del Sur and Nagarote participated in the IV Student Fair: “A Step towards Innovation” organized every year by the Victoria Foundation.

During this activity, the eleventh graders from technical careers belonging to the Victoria Foundation –and benefitted with a scholarship by “SOY CAMBIO” as well— received these 25 students in order to show them their Business Plans, including initiatives such as: a plastic grinder, a packaging machine, a drawing machine, coconut and ginger drinks and pineapple vinegar, among others.

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