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.
TheSecretos para contarFoundation 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 theFoundation 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 theFoundation’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 theFoundation 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.
Together we plant the future
Life is a network of cooperation that allows those who partner together to succeed. This thinking has led us to evolve as an organization, through projects and partnerships that empower the people, entities and events that have shaped " Secretos para contar". With each step we take together, we seek a better world for rural families.
Through our projects and partnerships, we seek to support the formation of the human beings of tomorrow. We create content and projects to make this a better world, and we promote reading and access to education for the rural population.
Our projects and alliances
During the process of delivering the books, on that walk along the rural roads, our interest expanded, and we began to investigate the models of rural education in the country and the department.
Our first exploration began in 2007, in which we investigated how rural education worked with “Escuela Nueva” in primary schools in Antioquia. From there, the “Secretos en la escuela” project was born, which gave us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the didactics of rural teaching work, explore teaching techniques and transversality, investigate the deficiencies of the educational system, (the lack of materials in some areas and for some ages), seeking to bring a pedagogy that allows the integral development of the human being during preschool and primary education, and that accompanies teachers and rural teachers in subjects such as learning bases, literacy and pre-calculus. In this project we created didactic material and new pedagogical strategies that allowed us to enter the classroom and the school curriculum, to complement the Escuela Nueva methodology.
In our visits to the countryside, we realized that in Antioquia, as in the rest of the country, we lack a clear and contextualized educational policy for the rural environment and, despite the many efforts that have been made, there is no sustainable strategy that covers rural areas in a relevant and comprehensive manner, neither at the national nor at the departmental level.
Alliance for rural education in Antioquia - ERA
In 2017, the Foundation convened entities of the department with experience in education and promotion of development such as “Comfama”, “Fundación Fraternidad Medellín”, “Comité Departamental de Cafeteros” and “Proantioquia”, which initially joined together to form a public-private alliance, which convened the Government as the Governing Authority of the educational policy in the department, with a view to promoting rural development through education. Today, this alliance is growing day by day, and many more allies have bet on it.
The ERA Alliance is a project to strengthen rural education based on the experience of the “Escuela Nueva Caldas” program and currently present in the Southwest of Antioquia and with projection to other sub-regions of the Department.
The project seeks that, from the accompaniment in active pedagogies to rural educational centers, and the implementation of higher education programs relevant to rural areas, preschool education is articulated with basic, secondary and higher education, through a unique educational model, with territorial relevance and focused on being. With this we seek to contribute to the quality of rural education and promote in students the development of life projects that strengthen their territorial roots, their personal growth and allow them to improve their living conditions.
Both in schools that had been working under the “Escuela Nueva” model and in schools with traditional models, the implementation of the different strategies proposed by ERA has been valued by teachers, students and the community as a program that helps educational actors to improve their teaching and learning practices and processes. ERA has shown significant impacts in the management of a greater rural educational coverage in Antioquia.
This dream come true has been possible thanks to the support of many allies from all sectors, who have made a heartfelt commitment so that today the inhabitants of the countryside can have access to quality education, from preschool to university, in their territory.
Books for Peace:
In “Secretos para contar” we have designed and published books designed for a theme of Peace in the midst of conflict. They are books for children and young people, with themes designed so that in the Colombian countryside there is more condescension, compassion, understanding and security.
Secretos para contar develops storytelling contests with the idea of keeping reading and writing active among teachers and students in the country.
The contests have been held in Antioquia as part of the Let's Prepare for Peace project (2013), in Córdoba (2009), in Bajo Cauca (2008), Urabá (2007) and Rionegro (2013).
In each of these versions, the writers of the three best stories have been awarded prizes and a book has been published with the best texts shared with members of the community.
Publications with students
We do collective stories to give recognition and a moral boost to young rural writers. This exercise has helped teachers, and especially children, to express through the written word the situation in their region. This project is based on the premise that reading and writing are two mutually supportive activities in the academic and social formation process of the educational community.
Covers: Once Upon a Time Seven ..., The Chicken Thief, The Little Prince's Secret Journeys
This medium of communication has traditionally been the most present in rural life. Messages, news, dramas and music accompany the routines of cooking, milking, farming and resting. The radio becomes an expeditious medium for the transmission of knowledge and promotion of the book in the daily lives of the families that receive it and other people who can access the information shared by the Foundation.
For this reason, we develop radio programs with content relevant to the field associated with the themes of the collection. The radio programs seek to broaden the horizon of knowledge of the inhabitants of the field from the place where they are located. These programs are broadcast on some local stations, on our website and on different digital platforms.
The programs, like the books, are designed and conducted as a space for communication between generations that promotes family interaction and generates an improvement in the standard of living of its members.
Reading accessories - Glasses and dictionaries
As part of the installation workshop, we carefully and responsibly deliver a pair of glasses with +1.50 or +2.00 diopters to people over the age of 40 who, through a visual acuity test, demonstrate the need to have them at home.
In addition, we provide rural families with a dictionary to better understand the meaning of the contents. Both the glasses and the dictionary aim to improve the reading habits of rural families.
Over 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.
Our catalog includes a wide range of titles, from books for the very young, to storybooks and knowledge books for children, youth and adults.
The selection of the materials we publish is based on two premises: to write in simple language and to address topics familiar to the reader, in this case rural inhabitants who have never had books at home. The books seek to sow curiosity in a simple and friendly way, and reach the rural home to stay and live there, becoming part of the daily routine.
Each Secrets to tell imprint is defined by the selection, style, format and target audience of the books.
Family Library "Secretos Para Contar"
This label consists of the creation, design, production and distribution of book collections aimed at Colombian peasant families. Since the Foundation's inception, we have sought to ensure that each peasant home has a collection or a kind of encyclopedia for everyone: a family library where adults and children can enter.
The books include texts of local and universal knowledge, presented in a friendly way and accompanied by photographs and illustrations. Its structure is planned based on the contributions of Waldorf Pedagogy, where the formation of the individual is conceived in a balanced and global way: feeling - thinking - doing. To this end, each book in the collection has one of these characteristics. That is to say, there are literature books to feel; there are practical books to do; and there are science books to think.
For the delivery of the books, we work hand in hand with the teachers. They are the bridges that allow us to reach families on the sidewalks. In addition to this joint work, “Secretos para contar” has published for them six workshop guides (8,000 in each edition) associated with each of the book collections.
These have been delivered to teachers in workshops designed for them. The guides, like the workshops, are constructed with a holistic approach to education and seek to enable teachers to deepen with students the concepts in the books and make the most of them in their school day.
The Workshop Guides label is a collection of texts for teachers to work on the contents of the “Secretos para contar” Library in the classroom.
“La vaca roja”
The label of the “La vaca roja” is a book proposal for children, which is composed of books of smaller size and number of pages. It is focused on children and school. In this collection there are also practical books on agricultural work, literature books and books on various topics such as history, geography, the different cultures of the world, the development of logical thinking and the study of nature. All the books seek to stimulate curiosity and, above all, to promote the enjoyment of reading as a way of learning. This collection was born from the suggestions of teachers, families and children from the field in the surveys applied in the different meetings with them. The books are aimed at children between 7 and 12 years old; but they also promote activities to share with the family. The contents are relevant, respect the communities' own knowledge and are written in a positive tone that encourages exploration and enjoyment.
“Secretos en la escuela”
This label arises from an investigation that began in 2007, in which we began to investigate how rural education worked in primary schools in Antioquia. In it, we worked with rural teachers and students, seeking to bring a pedagogy that allows the integral development of the human being, and that seeks to accompany rural teachers and students in subjects such as learning bases, literacy and pre-calculus. For this project, we have also created didactic material and new methodologies that allow us to enter the classroom and complement the Escuela Nueva methodology. It arises from the need to provide more and better attention to preschool and early elementary school students.
Under this label we also developed work guides called “RECONOCER” for students and teachers of primary and secondary school, which are designed with the Escuela Nueva methodology, and serve students and teachers to work the areas of knowledge through the content of textbooks. Secrets to tell that students already have at home.
“La oveja de hilo”
Books:Under this label we design and publish books that seek to advocate for Peace in the midst of conflict. These are books for children and young people, with themes designed to bring more condescension, compassion, understanding and security to the Colombian countryside.
Radio programs: We also develop radio programs with content relevant to the field associated with the themes of the collection. Like the books, the radio programs seek to broaden the horizon of knowledge of the inhabitants of the countryside from the place where they are. These programs are broadcast on some local stations, on our website and on digital audio platforms.
“El Samán dormilón”
Under the label “El Samán dormilón”, we hold short story contests to give recognition and moral support to young rural writers.
“ERA / SECRETS”
It is a “Secretos para contar” label, which arises from the training received in the Escuela Nueva model, and the need to have quality materials, good prices and relevant to schools and colleges in the Antioquian countryside. This label develops materials for ERA Alliance. The contents are directed to the following areas: Active Pedagogies, Productive Pedagogical Projects - PPP, Collaborative Projects and The U in the countryside.
SECRETS TO TELL FOUNDATION - NIT 830.509.766-0
CARRERA 43 E # 8 -71
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.
2. Certification indicating the names and identification of the directors and managers, and globally the concept and value of the remuneration of such positions. Applies to the entities referred to in articles 19 and 19-4 of the Tax Law, which have gross income in the previous tax year in excess of 3,500 UVT.
An annual results report, or Cooperative Sector Management Report, which provides data on its ongoing and completed projects, income, contracts, subsidies and contributions received, as well as the goals achieved for the benefit of the community.
Certification of Requirements of the legal representative or tax auditor certifying that they have complied with all the requirements during the respective year. (numeral 13 of section 2 of article 364-5 ET).
Certification of the Legal Representative of the judicial records and declarations of expiration of state contracts of the members of the board of directors, founders, legal representatives or members of the management bodies in accordance with numeral 3 article 364-3 ET.
Minutes of the General Assembly or highest administrative body approving the distribution of the net profit or surplus of the respective fiscal year, if applicable. income tax return and complementary income tax return.
Certificate of existence and legal representation issued by the competent authority, in which its administrators, representatives and members of the board or management body are present when required to do so.
Copy of the minutes of the General Assembly or highest governing body, in which the legal representative is authorized to request that the entity remains as an entity of the Special Tax Regime for Income Tax.
Copy of the entity's bylaws or minutes of the highest administrative body indicating that the main corporate purpose corresponds to a meritorious activity, that contributions are not reimbursed, that its surpluses are not distributed and that the entity's management positions are identified. (Numeral 4 of Art. 220.127.116.11.5.1.8 of Decree 1625 of 2016).