Fundación AFIN is a large NGO that works throughout Venezuela on a range of development issues especially in health and education. They run, for example, ante-natal training classes for those that work with young mothers from socially disadvantaged areas.
They have also been crucial in the evolution of the "Maestra en casa" (teacher in the home) and the Ludoteca (local play area) programmes.
One of the areas that they have been working in is Comunidad Los Rosales (see above) and these programmes compliment perfectly what Veniños is doing directly with the community about pre-school education. The "Maestra en casa" programme is not dissimilar to the Health Visitor programme in the UK - a specialist teacher goes to local homes and runs informative and fun sessions for mothers and their babies, helping mothers to learn about the development of their child(ren) and to improve their parenting skills. It also means that problems can be identified at a very early stage and rectified or monitored, thereby hopefully avoiding an unnecessary crisis at a later age.
The Ludotecas are basic but safe shared community spaces for educational and recreational play. Many children in shanty towns don't have space or resources at home and the street gradually becomes their playground but the streets and staircases in shanty towns are often not just cramped and dirty but they can be violent and dangerous spaces where children are exposed to danger and are very vulnerable. Ludotecas are therefore a safe and stimulating diversion that gives access to children that would not otherwise have it to explore and learn in a fun way.
Veniños is providing the financial resources to Fundación AFIN to develop and expand its programme of "Maestra en casa" and Ludotecas in Comunidad Los Rosales.
We believe it will help give local children the best possible start in life and mean that both they and their parents have made all the correct preparations to enrol children at the appropriate time in the local pre-school. We want to help engage parents and children in the educational process as much as possible from as early an age as possible.