GIVING COLOMBIAN KIDS THE CHANCE TO GET AN EDUCATION
SUNATHA CAMILA SCHOOL
Sunantha Camila Foundation is a non profit organization which is building a school in Colombia for some of the most underprivileged children of Circasia Quindio
Sunantha Camila Foundation is a non profit organization which runs a school in Colombia for some of the most underprivileged children of Circasia, Quindio.
The Mission and Philosophical Principle of Sunantha Camila Foundation
Sunantha Camila is a non-profit pre-school for children of high risk including those living in extreme poverty, victims of sexual, physical and verbal abuse, malnourished, in poor health. The mission is to provide free, individualized education using the Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia approach to children aged 3-5. Each class will have an assistant, a full time licensed instructor specially trained in early childhood education, as well as the guided active participation of parents in order to integrate them into their child’s educational process and be part of a community. In addition, a snack and lunch will be provided daily. Each class room will be well equipped with cutting edge materials in order to enhance the child’s motivation, creativity, productivity and potential. The vision of Sunantha Camila Foundation is a community where at-risk children can develop safely, with proper education, nutrition, and healthcare.
A message from our President
My name is Martha Castaño. I have a PhD from Yale University in Contemporary Latin American Literature. I wrote my dissertation on Gabriel García Márquez on “The Discourses of Love and Violence in Love in the Times of Cholera and No One Writes to the Coronel.” Being in the academic path has allowed me to reflect upon the disconnect between theory and practice. Thinking about Colombia’s long history of civil war, I decided to take a more proactive role in working towards helping to diminish the problem of violence and inequality, particularly among children of high risk. I was born in Circasia, Colombia. It is a poor town, located between Armenia (the capital of the state) and Pereira (a more developed city). Circasia has always been vulnerable to political turmoil and natural disasters. For more than half of a century, Circasia was affected by the violence created by the civil war between the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. Because it is in the Andean Mountain Chain, Circasia is also prone to earthquakes and torrential rains. In addition, many displaced people have migrated from the countryside to settle in Circasia. My mother and great-grandmother were born in Circasia. My mother’s aunt, Eloisa, helped send my mother to the United States in search of a better future for her and her children. As a result, I had a life-transforming experience that I would never have had if I had stayed in Colombia. I was privileged to have an education that gave me the tools to not only grow intellectually, but also to think critically. I feel a strong duty to give back to the community, values that my Aunt Eloisa bestowed on me. I am now determined to work towards social transformation through education in Colombia and elsewhere throughout the world.
The Origin of Sunantha Camila Foundation
was founded in memory of my first daughter who died shortly after birth due a terrible accident. At her bedside, I promised I would finish my PhD and would build a school to channel a painful tragedy in a meaningful and constructive way, and her memory became the driving force behind my life long desire to build a school. This tragedy gave me time to reflect upon my commitment to improving the quality of life for children in Colombia. The Sunantha Camila Foundation materialized in this process. I had always had a strong desire to help my town and I felt that building a preschool would be a way to give children an opportunity to have a better start in their lives, the same way I had.
For me, it’s been such a change to see how much Sarita has learned. She’s so expressive and loving. Everyone talks about the school and how much it has given to the town.
Sunantha Camila Foundation is such an amazing organization. It is already making such an enormous impact in the community!
My child had problems with learning but now he can speak clearly. He is so much more caring and kind.
I want to thank the teachers, the founders, the director. I’ve seen a complete change in her. She is so happy to be here. We’re all so appreciative.
My daughter loves to go to school now to study. On Saturday she wakes up and asks can she go to school. She wakes up happy hoping to go to school everyday and makes sure she does not arrive a minute late.