Paula Rico is the Program Manager of Aprende Leyendo, a literacy initiative to enhance the reading and writing skills of children in disadvantaged communities in Colombia. She is responsible for the development and implementation of Dingo App- a digital learning tool preloaded with eBooks and literacy activities.
Paula has also been working at the World Literacy Foundation for the last two years as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator, contributing to the advocacy work of the organization to promote literacy as a human right around the globe.
Literacy, the pathway to sustainable peace in Colombia
The internal conflict in Colombia has impacted negatively children’s education. Affected children lack basic literacy and social skills needed to thrive in life. To reconstruct the country and achieve long-lasting peace, it is crucial to focus on literacy which is the foundation of learning and education.
The World Literacy Foundation is helping by merging technology and education to support vulnerable children. Dingo App is a digital learning tool that aims to develop their literacy skills and teaches English as a second language.
The internal conflict in Colombia has impacted negatively the child’s right to education and the school system. Some children were recruited into armed groups, teachers were displaced or killed, schools suffered damage to physical infrastructure. As a consequence, children lack basic literacy and social skills needed to thrive in life.
To reconstruct the country and achieve long-lasting peace, Colombia needs to close the education gap between urban and rural areas, the country is required to develop a secure education system. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on literacy which is the foundation of learning and education.
Low literacy rates and poor education affects health, welfare, gender equality, social cohesion, and work opportunities, which can lead to increased rates of poverty and violence.
Where to start?
Literacy development commences from an early age. Reading with children helps them to develop a solid literacy foundation which is essential to excel in school and life.
Unfortunately, many kids from disadvantaged backgrounds are not receiving the educational support they require. Children who grow up in low-income families enter school with substantially fewer words than their wealthier peers.
We can contribute to the solution!
The World Literacy Foundation is helping by merging technology and education to support vulnerable children in Colombia. Dingo App is a digital learning tool that aims to develop their literacy skills and teaches English as a second language.
The app has pre-loaded local tailored content that can be accessed for free and without the Internet to avoid connectivity issues in rural areas. The content created in collaboration with volunteers, partners and the children themselves, includes digital learning activities, videos, and e-books in both languages, Spanish and English. Additionally, the content has social messages to reinforce the importance of the sustainable development goals and prepare them to become global citizens.