Starfish has never been built to serve thousands of students at one time. Our model is just too individual, too intensive. Our growth comes instead through training other organizations. Starfish is the “laboratory” to field test best practices in the rural, Mayan Guatemalan context and the RIPPLE program is our training model, sharing with others our success. Thanks to Green Mountain Coffee Foundation for their vision on this program!
Over the past two weeks, Starfish has hosted two three-day workshops in popular education, involving diverse and nontraditional voices in community development. These voices are illiterate parents, rural teenagers, Mayan women, and more. Over 33 community organizers in this round have received a “toolkit” of participatory techniques through the Starfish RIPPLE training.
Unfortunately, in Guatemalan culture, rote teaching style is the norm. All too often messages on domestic violence, malnutrition, and other important topics are met with glazed expressions. The content is either not presented in layman’s terms (for parents who have never attended school) or is delivered for the sake of checking off the to-do list. The RIPPLE training gives community organizers new techniques, teaches them that every minute counts, and develops a network of professionals within small Guatemalan NGOs.
Pencils of Promise, Fundacion Ixil, Limitless Horizons Ixil, Pueblo a Pueblo, Friendship Bridge, Mercado Global, and Philanthropiece have been some of the participants.
Posted on March 7, 2013