TALICA’s collaboration starts with traveling to various communities and visiting teachers and students. We spend many days and sometimes weeks building friendships and working relationships before we enter in to any formal partnerships or provide financial support.
Together, we observe and document what is really working well and then we facilitate dialogue about what would enhance the current classroom successes. For example, we have seen some of the most amazing teaching and dedication from educators. The teaching styles are as tailored as they can be based on the materials available. Inevitably, books are always the first thing teachers say would help them be even more successful.
“We need books in our classrooms, but they are very expensive,” they tell us.
TALICA listens to the conversation about what types of books are needed the most, and helps educators envision what could be possible in the area of building book collections. Following more in-depth conversations, we create “wish lists” of books with the most important at the top. The local educators find bookstores and prices for each book to create purchase orders for TALICA. This is no easy task, since many of the educators we collaborate with live in the midst of tropical forests or on isolated islands, away from the Internet and modern stores.
Together we figure out the needed information, and money is allocated for each school based on need. We then make the long journey to Managua using public transport and a private truck to purchase books and return to the school. The books are then directly distributed into the hands of teachers and their students.
By listening to the community, rather than imposing an outside mindset, TALICA is able to achieve unparalleled results.