During our 25th Anniversary celebration, we are introducing you to the dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to promote greater access to education. This month we meet Kim, who joined ACCESO as a volunteer and board member after volunteering in Latin America to introduce computers into unelectrified rural schools. Access to higher education and computer literacy training are causes close to her heart, and when not working in support of ACCESO’s projects, you can find Kim working in the background providing tech support.
I am a proud supporter and long time volunteer with ACCESO. I first learned about ACCESO International in 2003 prior to travelling to Central America to do volunteer work in support of computer literacy in rural communities. ACCESO’s original mission to expand access to education by providing post-secondary bursaries deeply resonated with me, recognizing the importance this had played in my own life and knowing how valuable education is, and how out of reach it can be for many families in Latin America and the Caribbean.
As an engineer, I use computers in every aspect of my daily work so I can appreciate the importance of having a solid foundation of computer literacy. Being comfortable using and working with computers, skills taught at Escuela para Todos – School for All, a school in Nicaragua ACCESO has previously supported, opens up opportunities for socio-economic advancement that would otherwise be inaccessible to marginalized communities in Managua. With support from ACCESO, graduates from Escuela para Todos have been able to gain the skills they need to find meaningful and well paying work to live with dignity.
In 2006 I had the privilege of traveling to Guatemala to visit some of our projects and help with building furniture for a pre-school that was being built on the grounds of the Guatemala City dump. The pre-school, built in partnership with Camino Seguro (Safe Passage) and Oneness Through Mission was created as a safe space to grow and learn for these young children who might otherwise be spending their days collecting items from the dump with their families to recycle and sell. In exchange for a bag of groceries to replace the lost income their children might have generated, families bring their children to the pre-school in the hope of breaking the cycle of poverty through the power of education.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have witnessed firsthand the change that can be realized by having greater access to education through the efforts of ACCESO International.Kim