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San Damián de Molokai School (Colombia)

The San Damián de Molokai School in Bogotá is a school which began as a soup kitchen in 1971.  It now has 166 students with 8 teachers. On the verge of turning 50, the faculty is excited about a renewal of the classroom teaching project, where cooperative learning combined with positive interdependence is prided upon.  In a locality with many needs, this educational community wants to extend the educational itinerary up to secondary level.

Alongside all these hopes, the school is now facing the challenges of Covid-19. We are informed by its principal, Ingrid Rocuts:

"We haven't reached the peak of the pandemic yet, the daily cases of contagion are increasing especially in Bogota. We are a bit scared and sad because the virus has touched some of the families at the school, including a mother who is 6 months pregnant and a fifth grader. The fifth grader has shown some strong symptoms due to pre-existing illnesses, but fortunately he is breathing on his own and is being treated at home.

Colombia is undergoing a health, economic, social and food crisis. Already 97% of the country's ICUs are occupied, but despite this frightening panorama, we at the school remain united and hope that when all this passes we will be able to meet again, embrace each other and value much more each person, highlighting the contribution that each one of them makes to our lives.

It is with these challenges and a window open to hope, that we have in mind this educational centre dedicated to Saint Damien.