Through different educational and training initiatives aimed at stimulating reading and learning, our Foundation tries to provide as much opportunity as possible for Colombian families living in out of the way parts of the country, to communicate with their local communities as well as with the world at large, while encouraging a greater sense of self-worth so that they value their relationship with the nature and countryside, as well as to improve their quality of life.
The Foundation was created ten years ago, as a result of having distributed certain agricultural and environmental texts amongst several rural communities in Colombia. When we saw just how pleased and excited this often overlooked segment of society was with such a simple gesture, we began to sound out the possibility of extending these educational activities to include reading skills, which would become a key factor in self-development of these rural communities.
> Promote reading habits amongst the Colombian rural communities to help improve the quality of their lives.
> Dignify the role of the Colombian rural people and help them to enhance the image they have of themselves, underlining the importance of their work and knowledge of the country as a whole from the economic, cultural, social and ecological standpoints.
> Provide means of entertainment and hours of fun for members of the family as well as the rural communities to which they belong, and in so doing, build up ties and set in motion a means of networking to ensure greater development.
> Make up for the lack of educational material in the Colombian countryside
>Design strategies that help rural families to stay in their own respective towns and villages.
> Help improve the Colombian countryside as well as preserving the environment.
>Extend broader knowledge of the reality of the Colombian countryside so as to create a network of assistance and solidarity and encourage greater reflection with regard to the issues at stake.
Our aim is to promote reading amongst rural familie
Core project: the family collection. Secrets, the countryside in words
The family collection is an educational project that consists of editing, producing and personally delivering a collection of books to families in rural areas. These books have been written using accessible, easy-to-understand language based on its target audience and every two years we are renewing its content so as to preserve the interest factor on the part of our target audience.
Each trilogy consists of a book on literature exalting the joy of reading, a book on practices useful for rural families in going about their daily lives and another book about science or general knowledge.
The key to the Foundation’s success so far is that we go straight to where these rural families live and personally deliver the material in what we call installation workshops. Thanks to this “hands-on” approach, we have been able to reach out all remote towns and villages in the Department of Antioquia, and provide these families with the only reading material they are ever likely to own. Having their own books in the comfort of their very own homes has allowed both adults and children alike to establish good reading habits and we are now proud to have a new generation of “readers” in the countryside where before there were very few.
Reading supplements: glasses and dictionaries
As part of the activities carried out at our installation workshops, we carefully and responsibly provide glasses with a lens power of +1.50 or +2.00 diopters to adults over the age of 40, after undergoing an eye test confirming that they need reading glasses at home.
We also provide our rural families with a dictionary so they can better understand the meaning of the new words they come across. Both the glasses as well as the dictionary are aimed at improving reading habits amongst our target audience. Watch video: dotación de anteojos.
The Secretos para contar Foundation stages story-telling competitions so as to encourage reading and writing activities amongst teachers and schoolchildren in classrooms across the country. This project is based on the fact that reading and writing are two mutually inclusive skills in the academic and social education of a community.
This competition was held amongst teachers and schoolchildren in Urabá (2007) and Bajo Cauca (2008), (both sub-regions of the Department of Antioquia) as well as in some rural schools in the Department of Córdoba (2009).
Prizes were given to the three best stories submitted in each of the aforementioned competitions, and we were able to compile a book, containing a sample of these, which we subsequently gave out to members of the local community.
This has helped teachers and especially children to write about the situation experienced in their own regions.
In some parts of Antioquia we are also distributing a kit consisting of two books, a board game and a series of workshops where through game-orientated activities we are getting across our message of peace and our strong condemnation of war.
We also provide children with technical information regarding landmines and unexploded ammunition in all those areas affected by this scourge.
Babies and toddlers
In association with the Colombian Family Welfare Institute (ICBF) we are providing community “mothers” in charge of community daycare facilities in various parts of the country with our book “The First Years”
The purpose of this program is for these community mothers to track the development of the children in their care as well as the needs of infants at each specific stage, so as to ensure that they have a happy infancy and grow up to be fine, upstanding adults.
Radio program: books on the air waves
Stimulating the imagination and furthering the knowledge of our rural audience
We are developing radio programs with content that is specially designed for our rural families and related to the topics addressed in our collections. As with our books, our radio programs are aimed at furthering the knowledge of our rural families regardless of their location. These programs are broadcast by local radio stations as well as on our website.
Teacher-training program: Teachers for life!
Ensuring that our teachers are trained in educating integral human beings
We deliver our books working side by side with school teachers, who act as “bridges” for us to reach out to families living in the more remote areas. As part of this joint initiative, the Secretos para contar Foundation has published four workshop guides (10.000 copies each), that is to say one for each trilogy of books we have published.
These have been provided to schoolteachers as part of specially-designed workshops. Both the guides as well as the workshops are based on a comprehensive focus on education with schoolteachers expanding on the topics covered by our books and taking maximum advantage of this material during classroom hours.
Secrets for teaching: a portal for rural schoolteachers
In Secrets for Teaching, the teacher portal found on this website, we publish material specially tailored for teachers on a permanent basis. Here, teachers can access the contents of the books we provide, classified for easy reference and presented in a fun and entertaining way, along with a teaching library with workshop flashcards that can be used with the schoolchildren. Click here
Business enterprise program: local talents
Providing support to further the economic capacity of different rural communities by encouraging them to build a future in the place of their roots and in so doing reduce urban migration levels in Colombia
Tourism in La Mojana
Given the amount of destruction produced by heavy rainfall, as a result of La Niña weather phenomenon in 2010, the Secretos Para Contar Foundation, with the support of Bancolombia, embarked on two projects in the regions of La Mojana and Gran Isala de Mompox (in the Departments of Bolívar and Magdalena). The first consisted of providing our latest trilogy of books to 10.000 rural families in these underprivileged areas. The second, benefiting a total of 500 families in 13 communities, was aimed at taking full advantage of the human talent within these regions by setting up various community and tourist initiatives.
Tamesis – Getting the Youngsters on Board
Here we worked with a group of youngsters from the town of Támesis in setting up various projects that reported both personal gains for the participants as well as community benefits for the town at large, this based on a development program involving the townspeople.
The Secretos para contar Foundation is present in all the municipalities that make up the Department of Antioquia: 125 all together, composed of approximately 6.000 villages. We have visited all schools located in rural areas of Antioquia, and in so doing, we have reached 100% of the rural families with children attending school.
A group of deeply-committed workshop staff or facilitators – known locally as “the book people” – have to travel up into the mountains, down into the valleys and along the rivers to get to these remote areas; all this in order to personally deliver our books to the local schoolchildren and their families as part of the installation workshop and the reading program.
Although the Foundation is mainly focused on the Department of Antioquia, it has participated in other programs in other departments of the country in conjunction with Acción Social - Red de Seguridad Alimentaria (Social Action- Food Safety Network) and Instituto de Bienestar Familiar (the Colombian Family Welfare Institute) as well as other private entities such as Indupalma in el Cesar and Philip Morris in Santander.
The Secretos para contar Foundation - key figures:
BENEFICIARY FAMILIES/ COLLECTIONS DELIVERED
|TOTAL BOOKS DELIVERED|
|12-volume book set provided to rural households in Antioquia||
|9-volume book set provided to rural households in Antioquia||
|3-volume book set provided to urban households in Medellín||
|Book sets provided to rural households in other Departments||
|Dictionaries provided to rural households||
|Book titled “The First Years” provided to Community Day-Care Facilities under the auspices of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare||
|Total books delivered||
|Workshop guides provided to teachers||
|# of teachers who received training||
|Story-telling competition publications||
|Landmine campaign cards for rural households||
|Educational radio programs||156 educational radio programs More than 4.000 minutes of content broadcast to rural families.|
***In 2012 the number of families making up the Secretos para contar Foundation’s reading circle shall be given the 12-volume collection.
How do we structure our visits?
The book delivery or installation process involves the Foundation’s workshop staff visiting the same town three times for each trilogy or book set. The first visit consists of getting the town’s teachers together, presenting them with the collection and then planning the second visit or installation workshop.
On the second visit, our workshop staff goes to each of the village schools to meet with the families who have been personally invited to this event with the help of the teachers. There we stage the installation workshop where we hand over a 3-volume set of books to each family. We invite everybody to touch them, open them, and become totally familiar with them. Then we tell them how they can be used by the entire family thereby awakening their curiosity to continue reading at home.
On the third visit, the workshop staff meets again with the town’s teachers in the form of a workshop where they provide teacher guides containing activities and exercises that can be carried out with the books in the classroom. Watch video
A joyful visit
During all these years that the Foundation has been directly staging these reading programs in the rural areas of Colombia, it has been a privilege for us to see how much these families love learning and how grateful they are to be considered active people capable of thinking, feeling and willing.
The relationship that we have built up with our rural families is one of dignified respect for the role they play. We encourage their development and deliver on our promise, always focusing on the positive side of things so as to bring about the right solutions. This is why teachers and families in remote rural parts of Colombia cannot wait for us to arrive, since our workshops have become quite joyful events.
The Secretos para contar Foundation has managed to substantially improve reading habits in the Colombian countryside, as shown by the impact surveys drawn up by different universities in Medellin.
The first of these was carried out by the Universidad de Antioquia in 2006, the second by the Center for Public Opinion, attached to the Universidad de Medellin, in 2008, and the third by the Universidad National de Colombia in 2010.
All three have produced similar findings, which show that our program has had a steady positive impact on our beneficiary families.
The following are just some of the more relevant findings from the last survey carried out by the Universidad Nacional showing a 94% confidence level and a maximum allowable error of 6%:
80% of the families surveyed said that the 9 books received from the Secretos para contar Foundation represented their entire home library.
93% of the children, 91% of the youngsters, 79% of the mothers, 42% of the fathers that make up the rural families that participated in this impact survey, had developed reading habits as a result of the Foundation’s book program.
29% of all rural children read every day.
98% of the beneficiary families rated the Secretos para contar books as either good or very good in terms of content, format, type, colors, drawings and photographs.
26% of beneficiary households had at least one member who became interested in learning to read and write as a result of the Secretos para contar reading campaign.
57% of all school children took the Secretos para contar books to school.
91% of all school children used the Secretos para contar books to do their homework.
77% of all the teachers used the Secretos para contar books for teaching purposes within the classroom.
92% of all teaching staff rated the quality of the Secretos para contar books as either good or very good.
80% of all teachers that attended the teaching workshops rated these as either good or very good.
75% of all teachers used the Workshop Guides to prepare their classes.
Click here to download the impact surveys:
Secretos para contar is a private foundation that operates thanks to public-private alliances with various entities that work to further the development of rural communities.
Entities associated with the Secretos para contar program
- Acción Social – Programa Red de Seguridad Alimentaria RESA
- Agenciauto S.A.
- Akt Motos
- Alcaldía de Medellín
- Secretaría de Cultura Ciudadana
- Secretaría de Educación
- Antioqueña de Negocios Ltda.
- Arquitectos e Ingenieros S.A. - AIA
- Banco Agrario de Colombia
- Bimbo de Colombia S.A.
- Boulevard Mayorca
- C.I. Cultivos Miramonte S.A.
- C.I. Hermeco S.A.
- Cámara de Comercio de Medellín para Antioquia
- Cervecería Unión S.A.
- Coca-Cola Servicios de Colombia
- Colombiana de Comercio S.A.
- Comfenalco Antioquia
- Compañía de Empaques S.A.
- Compartamos con Colombia
- Coninsa Ramón H. S.A.
- Contegral Medellín S.A.
- Coordinadora Mercantil S.A.
- Corporación Banco de Bogotá para el fomento de la educación
- Corporación Cultural Cantoalegre
- DeLima Marsh
- Developing Minds Foundation, Inc.
- Distrihogar S.A.
- Dominante Ltda.
- Edatel S.A. E.S.P.
- Emilio Restrepo Ángel
- Emisora Cultural Universidad de Antioquia
- Empresas Públicas de Medellín
- Estudio de Moda S.A.
- Exxon Mobil de Colombia
- Fabricato – Tejicóndor S.A.
- Federación Nacional de Cafeteros – Comité Departamental de Antioquia
- Fernando Vélez Escobar
- Ferrasa - Fundación Pizarra
- Fundación Amigos de Camilo C. y Jonás
- Fundación Argos
- Fundación Bancolombia
- Fundación Celsia
- Fundación Éxito
- Fundación Fraternidad Medellín
- Fundación Grupo Argos
- Fundación Grupo Nutresa
- Fundación Oleoductos de Colombia
- Fundación Pinar del Río
- Fundación Probán
- Fundación Ramírez Moreno
- Fundación Saldarriaga Concha
- Fundación Sofía Pérez de Soto
- Fundación Sura
- Give to Colombia - CITI Foundation
- Give to Colombia - McMillan Foundation
- Gobernación de Antioquia – Secretaría de Educación
- Imusa S.A.
- Indupalma S.A.
- Industrias El Cid
- Industrias Haceb S.A.
- Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. - ISA
- Intercolombia S.A.
- Inversiones Forestales La Cabaña
- Johnson & Johnson de Colombia
- Jorge Agudelo Restrepo
- LG Electronics
- Londoño Gómez S.A.
- María Luz Ospina Villa
- Meriléctrica S.A.
- Mineros S.A.
- Nestlé de Colombia
- Philip Morris Colombia S.A.
- Procter & Gamble Industrial Colombia
- Productos Familia – Sancela
- Protección S.A.
- RCN Radio
- Samsung Electronics
- Setas Colombianas
- Sofasa S.A.
- Solla S.A.
- Sony Colombia
- Spot S.A. - Abicano Ltda.
- Tablemac S.A.
- Tahamí Cultiflores S.A. C.I.
- Todelar - Transmisora Surandes
- Transmetano E.S.P. S.A.
OOver the years the Secretos para contar Foundation has received various prizes and awards for its work.
El Mundo de Oro (Gold Award from El Mundo Newspaper)
We received the El Mundo de Oro prize from El Mundo, one of the top regional newspapers, on the occasion of its 30th Anniversary in 2009.
The panel of judges highlighted the Foundation’s contribution to culture in the Department of Antioquia by encouraging and improving reading habits in rural communities as well as directly delivering its books to families in these faraway rural areas.
At the prize-giving ceremony, a special mention was made because of the “efficient cultural work carried out by the Secretos para contar Foundation in disseminating traditional knowledge and building a learning culture through the books and radio programs offered to rural families surrounding Medellin, the Department of Antioquia as well as other parts of Colombia, together with their corresponding installation workshops, all of which has made the Foundation a pivotal cultural force within the country”
Mention of Honor from the Alejandro Ángel Escobar Foundation
The Alejandro Ángel Escobar Foundation has been awarding prizes in the field of Science and Solidarity for more than 5 decades now. In 2010 it gave the Secretos para contar Foundation a mention of honor highlighting our efforts in exalting the role of Colombia’s rural population and helping them to build a better quality of life in the place of their roots, so as to avoid further urban migration.
The panel of judges recognized the value of our focus on the family as the most important building block in society as well as our efforts to train teachers and community leaders so that these may drive development in their own towns and villages.
Recognition from the Metropolitan Area of the Valle de Aburrá
The local Metropolitan authorities awarded its 2010 Educated Area prize to the Secretos para contar Foundation for its work in the region's development in terms of education and equality.
This recognition ceremony was part of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Metropolitan Area (AMVA), an institution dedicated to environmental planning and sustainability as well as developing overland transport, education and infrastructure in the Valle de Aburrá.
SECRETS TO TELL FOUNDATION - NIT 830.509.766-0
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- Description of the meritorious activity:The corporate purpose of the Foundation is to carry out the meritorious activities allowed in the regulations, provided they are of general interest and allow access to the community, such as: educational projects in general, including promotional activities and support to expand coverage and improve the quality of education in Colombia; nutrition, science, technology and innovation, culture, social development activities, environmental protection, promotion and support of sports activities, business development activities. Likewise, it may allocate resources for promotion and support to non-profit entities that carry out direct actions in the national territory in any of the meritorious activities defined in the regulations.
In the development of its corporate purpose, the Foundation may acquire, use, encumber or limit, lease or rent or otherwise, all kinds of movable or immovable property, dispose of them, take and deposit money in mutual funds, pledge its movable assets. The Company may draw, issue, endorse bills of exchange, checks, promissory notes and other negotiable instruments; open and move bank and savings accounts; novate and renew obligations and credits; constitute legal and extrajudicial powers of attorney and indicate their obligations; compromise or submit to arbitration the businesses in which it has an interest; incorporate companies and take an interest as participant, associate or shareholder, founder or not, in other companies, make contributions in money, in kind or in services to such companies; acquire patents, trade names, trademarks and other industrial and intellectual property rights in general and acquire or grant concessions for their exploitation; may participate in state contracting processes, to enter into contracts with the State, and in particular with the entities of the different orders, in order to support the execution of its programs, and in general to enter into or execute all types of contracts, acts or operations on movable and immovable property, of a civil or commercial nature, which are related in a medium to final manner with the corporate purpose and with the activities carried out by the entity. In addition, they may participate in state contracting processes, to enter into contracts with the State, and in particular with the entities of the different orders, in order to support the execution of their programs, and in general to enter into or execute all types of contracts, acts or operations on movable and immovable property, of a civil or mercantile nature, which are related in a medium to final manner with the corporate purpose and with the activities carried out by the entity. They may participate in state contracting processes, to enter into contracts with the State, and in particular with the entities of the different orders, in order to support the execution of their programs, and in general to enter into or execute all types of contracts, acts or operations on movable and immovable property, of a civil or mercantile nature, that are related in a medium to final manner with the corporate purpose and with the activities carried out by the entity.
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- Formats 2530-2531-2532-2533 2020
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