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APIEAT is a program based on grassroots relationship and democracy building through early childhood care and education initiatives. It uses a home visitation program that is a fundamental and unique opportunity to develop relationships with members of the community. In order to give ample opportunity for the development of these relationships each family is visited a minimum of 8 times. The emphasis on early childhood care breaks through the challenges of political and economic inequalities that are frequently present. Health and nutrition outreach, discussions on the importance of edcuation for their quality of life and in breaking the cycle of poverty, in addition to weekly story hours and play groups for children, food sustainaility progras, dental clinics ad vitamin distribution programs are some of the unique opportunities that APIEAT provides the local villages and barrios of Jalapa.
The goal is to provide learning opportunities for primary caregivers including parents, grandparents, nurses, teachers, young women, and community leaders in early childhood education. Members of APIEAT hold story hours and other play groups for children in the villages.
APIEAT teaches and models ways of healthy living for children as well as the entire family. They promote respect for children and ways to keep them safe from neglect and abuse. This is provided through hands on learning opportunities while visiting mothers and other primary caretakers through a house-to-house visitation program and through commuinty based workshops. After homes receive 2-3 visits APIEAT brings together neighbors in salon style workshops where primary caregivers discover how to work with each other and through collaboration attend to local needs and concerns.
APIEAT provides the construction of daycare facilities for parents to use while they are at work or school. They create a nurturing, safe, and stimulating environment for children to play and learn.
APIEAT helps the communities to organize using their limited resources. This has partially been accomplished through the development of a council of 18 organizations who are involved with children (as defined by the United Nations). Organizations in this council include, but are not limited to, the municipality, the Red Cross, OYANCA (a safe house like organization), the public schools, the health clinics and hospitals, and Save the Children.
APIEAT's foundation is built around the fundamentals of democracy. Leadership and democracy workshops, seminars, and other educational opportunities are provided in the municipality of Jalapa as well as in outlying villages.
Currently APIEAT serves 1005 children ages 6 months through 5 years bringing multi-vitamins each month to their family. The vitamins have been donated by Vitamin Angels.
A group of therapists from the Boulder Community have provided on-going training and supplies to APIEAT so that APIEAT can support families who have children with special needs.
APIEAT is now trained in dental hygiene and care. When visiting local communities they hold dental clinics and workshops sharing information on daily dental health, maintenance, and filling small cavities and providing extractions. In addition, they collaborate with a local dentist, Dr. Elvin who attends to the severe cases.
APIEAT members work 25 to 30 hours per week. Once a week each member holds a story hour, visits 15 homes, presents one workshop in a partipating community, works in the local hospital, casa materna (house for pregnant women) or local clinic, and visits local schools. They are paid a working stuped through fundraising and private donations. 100% of your donation goes to the support of APIEAT's transportation and projects. This requires an annual budget of $22,000.
To construct additional child care centers would require an additional $25,000 per center. The Ministry of Education pays for the salary of the preschool teachers, the municipality provides the land for the center, and the Minstry of Health provides a visit once a month from a nurse or Doctor. In addition, the Ministry of Family and APIEAT work together when children living in harsh conditions have been identified. Currently educational centers are only available in a limited number of communities. APIEAT would like to provide educational facilities as well as educators for many of the needed communities around Jalapa. Each center provides school for 120 children age birth through 8 years. It addition, educational facilities provide learning centers for parents.