Last year at our Oktoberfest Celebration, InterConnection held a fundraiser to ship laptops to Peruvian special needs school Manos Unidas raising over $3,300. Manos Unidas serves approximately 50 children ages 3 to 24 years old directly affected by an intellectual disability. Manos Unidas provides education for children with significant disabilities including alternative communication, physical therapy, social activities and life skills. They work directly with dedicated families from all income levels who are interested in improving the academic, behavioral and social skills of their children.
We recently checked in with Manos Unidas Founder Celeste Marion to see how the students and staff were enjoying the computers. Below is the update we received from Celeste.
“The laptops at Phawarispa (the teen and young adult program) have been used to show the students videos of other youth with disabilities working in the community. Its great to open their eyes to what can be done in their program.” – Celest Marion, Founder of Manos Unidas
1. Describe how the donation of laptops has helped you improve the school’s capacity to teach students.
Before the donation of these laptops, the students had no access to computer equipment. Yoann, our volunteer coordinator, has a lot of knowledge of the IT world and has held two computer workshops with Manos Unidas staff. He began by teaching the staff about the hardware of the laptop then did some intros to MS Word, Excel, internet browsing, videos and Open Office for kids.
The laptops have been distributed to each of the schools campuses, 3 laptops at Camino Nuevo and 3 laptops at Phawarispa where the teachers can check them out certain days of the week to use with their lesson plans.
The laptops at Phawarispa (the teen and young adult program) have been used to show the students videos of other youth with disabilities working in the community. Its great to open their eyes to what can be done in their program. We have also used them for sex education workshops and initial typing/word processing skills.
With the elementary school kids the laptops have been used to experiment with paint programs using adaptive mouse and keyboards which is great for fine motor and eye-hand coordination. They have also been used for multimedia (music, videos, pictures) during teaching sessions.
2. Describe how the donation of laptops has helped teachers (get training, get information via Internet, get connected and share information with other teachers, do research, etc.)
The IT workshop for staff was held to explain the hardware, how to take care of the laptops and an introduction of desktop tools and user restrictions. The teachers are supporting the students with the use of the laptops. Teachers have also used the laptops for producing their report cards for teacher/parent conferences. They have been very helpful in this regard.
3. Describe any other way in which increasing the amount of computers have helped your organization (i.e. administratively)
Parents love to see the increased amount of technology at the school! They have become excited that their kids are incorporating computers within the school program.
A big thank you to everyone who donated last year to Manos Unidas at our Oktoberfest Celebration or online via our social media outlets. None of this would have been possible without your generous contributions. Together we can change the world, one community at a time.