How Rural Nicaraguan Communities are Learning by Earning

The Learning Tutorial System (SAT) is a secondary and technical education program committed to the economic development of rural communities

Photo of Marco A. Blanco
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Fabretto

Year founded

1990

Initiative stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $500k - $1m

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 1,000 - 5,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • United States of America

Headquarters location: City

Washington, D.C.

Location(s) of impact

Nicaragua: Madriz, Managua, Nueva Segovia, and Southern Region of the Caribbean Coast (RACCS)

Website

https://fabretto.org

Facebook URL

https://facebook.com/Fabretto.org

Twitter URL

https://twitter.com/Fabretto

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

In Nicaragua, over 50% of the population living in rural communities survives on less than $2 per day. For generations, rural youth from these communities are born into bleak living conditions unable to meet basic needs. To break this cycle of poverty, rural communities need human capital capable of spurring economic development. SAT addresses this need by providing rural youth with the knowledge and skills required to create new businesses, run sustainable farms, and serve as leaders within their community.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

The Tutorial Learning System (commonly known by its Spanish acronym, SAT) is an alternative rural educational model, which provides youth with nationally accredited secondary education and technical training. SAT works by utilizing existing infrastructure and land in remote communities to offer three options: 1) a 5-year high school degree accredited by the Ministry of Education (MINED); 2) certificate courses in agri-business accredited by the National Instituted for Technical Education (INATEC); or (3) a hybrid offering that combines facets from options 1 and 2. Adopting a "learn by doing” approach, SAT tutors teach both formal and technical subjects tailored to the rural environment. From geometry to bee-keeping, students are taught to use their skills to solve actual problems within their community. For example, Danys, a SAT graduate turned tutor, designed a corn mill business that provides a time-saving service for rural women and meaningful employment for local youth.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Since its inception in 2007, SAT has grown from serving 300 rural youth in northern Nicaragua, into a nationwide program supported by government institutions and corporate partners. In 2018, SAT is expected to benefit 1,700 youth in 58 communities. One of the ways SAT benefits youth is by instilling values like community service. Over its 10-year history, program youth have executed hundreds of service projects, including community clean-ups, recycling initiatives, and women’s empowerment trainings. Through these activities, rural youth learn to view themselves as part of a larger whole. The principle benefit of SAT, however, is its ability to prepare youth for life after the classroom. As of 2016, over 420 rural youth have graduated from SAT’s high school program. 81% of these graduates are currently furthering their studies and/or engaged in agri-business (e.g. coffee growing, poultry farming, and beekeeping)—a notable achievement for communities with poverty rates above 50%

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

SAT is supported primarily through institutional grants, which cover approximately 80% of the program’s budget. Of note is a $1.8 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank that extends through 2020. Individual donations garnered from events, campaigns, and a sponsorship program cover the remaining 20% of costs. To create sustainability in the long-term, Fabretto will (1) grow its for-profit arm that connects youth entrepreneurs to value chains and markets (fees collected are reinvested into the program), (2) engage Nicaragua’s Ministry of Education in discussions about absorbing select costs, (3) digitize the program’s curriculum to eliminate the need for expensive textbooks, and (4) partner with private sector enterprises interested in using the program for CSR/CSV purposes.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

SAT has two key features that distinguish it from other rural education interventions and youth outreach initiatives in Nicaragua: 1) Accreditation: SAT is the only education intervention whose high school degrees and vocational certificates receive accreditation by MINED and INATEC, respectively. 2) Learning by Earning: Unlike other educational interventions, SAT links student’s income-generating projects with value chains that are in need of specific skills and/ or niche products.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

SAT’s primary goal has always been to increase rural youth’s access to quality education and training through a hands-on approach. In 2014, however, a 15-year old student named Katherine transformed this approach from “learning by doing” into “learning by earning.” With the help of her tutor and Mayorga Organics., Katherine applied her lessons in improved farming techniques to create an organic chia farm. By 2014, SAT had received considerable attention from companies seeking specific skills and/or niche products. Mayorga Org., like many of SAT’s corporate partners, views the skill gap in rural Nicaragua as an opportunity for investment, and willingly supplied chia seeds. That year, Katherine grew 500 lbs. of chia that Mayorga Org. purchased and exported to the US. She and her family increased their revenue enough to purchase 3 dairy cows. This is how “learning by earning” was born.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact

Program Design Clarity: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details

SAT works by establishing learning spaces within communities utilizing existing infrastructure and land, eliminating youth’s need to traverse long distances to public schools. Those who participate can enroll for free in one of three options: (1) a 5-year degree offering, which provides a high school diploma accredited by MINED, (2) individual, technical courses accredited by INATEC, and (3) a hybrid program, which enables youth enrolled in a Saturday-only high school program (run by MINED) to supplement their education with technical courses during the week. Youth participating in the HS degree option attend classes and conduct project activities from February to December, 5 days per week, for 4 hours per day (options 2 and 3 run similarly but primarily focus on skills training). Each week, SAT tutors, who typically come from the community in which they work, educate youth in five subjects: agriculture, science, mathematics, communication, and community service. Youth complete the HS degree program with 4,000 hours of training that prepares them to further their education, generate a sustainable income, and serve as community leaders. In each of the three options, SAT students are encouraged to put their knowledge into practice via income-generating ventures. Fabretto’s “Learning by Earning” initiative connects these ventures with interested businesses, entrepreneurs, and value chains which provide access to new, more profitable markets.

Focus area

  • Rural Development

We are interested in learning more about your initiative's broad impact on sustainable development. Please reply ONLY to the question(s) related to your above focus area.

SAT is available to rural Nicaraguan youth, ages 13 and up, regardless of social, economic, religious, ethnic or any other status. As an equitable educational model, SAT is designed to combat gender inequality in rural areas by implementing on-going studies and social campaigns to raise female participation. In the past 3 years, SAT has maintained a female enrollment rate above 48%--a notable achievement in a predominantly machista society that undermines women’s role in education and the economy. With almost a third of Nicaragua’s population between the ages of 15 to 29, SAT’s long-term goal is to create a generation of talented, working professionals that can galvanize economic development. However, the program also focuses on imparting knowledge and skills that can solve actual problems in the community. This means the curriculum is tailored to context. For example, in Nicaragua’s dry corridor, where a 3-year drought has crippled the livelihoods of 30,000 families, youth receive training in natural resource management, crop diversification, and use of irrigation technologies. These climate-smart skills not only enable youth to mitigate environmental threats but also generate a sustainable income. SAT does not simply generate an income for students, it also ensures their sustainability. Fabretto’s for-profit arm links student ventures to profitable markets, provides continuous financial counsel, and facilitates the integration of any cost-saving biotechnologies.

Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for different stakeholders?

In 10 years, SAT has developed thousands of young individuals who are interested in agriculture, knowledgable about good practices, possess an entrepreneurial drive, and follow a vocation to build the production capabilities of their rural communities. Seeing their potential, Fabretto launched a small for-profit arm. Fabretto Comercial S.A. began as a small endeavor in 2011 to help connect these highly gifted individuals with potential businesses who are looking for specific skills, niche products, or to increase their output. These corporate partners pay good prices and offer favorable conditions to small producers from rural communities where SAT is implemented. Fabretto works with partners like Burke Agro, Ingemann, Counter Culture Coffee, and Sol Maya, which in turn reinvest part of their profits in social benefits and education programs Fabretto offers to young people. Today, Fabretto is using this model as a Creating Shared Value approach to bridge the skills gap in Nicaragua.

How is your initiative funded, now and over the next 5 years?

In 2017, SAT had an annual budget of roughly $950,000. Currently, an approximate 80% of SAT’s funding is derived from grants and donations. However, Fabretto “Learning by Earning” initiative enables SAT to become less grant-dependent and more financially sustainable. Expanding its corporate partners interested in implementing SAT as a CSV approach, Fabretto can further increase the funds re-invested in SAT programs. This can be achieved with the following activities: (1) conduct market studies to identify potential partners, high-value markets, supply chains; (2) elaborate a SAT curriculum focused on specific crops, high-value chains, or corporate needs; (3) standardize a financing model for potential ventures with agricultural investors.

How do you plan to influence your field of work if you are a winner of this edition of the CSV Prize?

SAT provides a way for youth to generate sustainable income while also responding to the needs of the agricultural sector. In addition, it also empowers a whole population of youth, ages 15-29, to be the veritable agents of change. SAT helps youth and their families enter the formal economy, which bodes well for policy changes in the near future. Along the way, SAT students enact numerous public service activities to mitigate the effects of poverty and natural disasters. As winner of the CSV Prize, Fabretto would launch public campaigns, disseminate marketing materials, and create a public dialogue to further espouse SAT as an equitable CSV approach that spurs development for all of Nicaragua.

How will you leverage an investment from Nestle to expand the impact of your work?

Fabretto Comercial S.A. focuses on selling the products of SAT income-generating ventures; however, it lacks a clear structure in Fabretto and responds to opportunities as they arise. The goal is to strengthen Fabretto Comercial S.A. by (1) design a business plan and strategy which includes hiring and financing a sales expert; (2) implement a fund management model that provides financing to student ventures but also establishes a channel of revenue to be reinvested in SAT activities; (3) train a team of 10 technical specialists to identify high-value chains, integrate biotechnologies, and provide ongoing financial counsel; and (4) establishing an investment fund of US$100,000 to grant loans to producers (e.g., provide seed capital).

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact? What’s the projected impact for the coming years? Are you planning to expand your programme into new locations? On what assumptions do you build your scale-up plans?

SAT was created in 1974 by the Foundation for the Application and Teaching of Science, for rural communities in Colombia. Later, it was implemented in Honduras, Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, and Nicaragua. A total of more than 300,000 students have benefitted from it. Fabretto’s plan is not necessarily to expand geographically. The chief goal is to strengthen its “Learning by Earning” strategy. SAT will continue to be active in 58 rural Nicaraguan communities; however, Fabretto’s S.A. Comercial will gain a stronger role in expanding its corporate network by (1) conducting market research to identity lucrative agricultural supply chains; (2) help link student ventures with high-value supply chains and profitable markets; (3) standardize a process of financing SAT ventures with agricultural investors; (4) ensure ventures sustainability by providing continuous financial counsel and strategic advice; (5) launch certificate courses focused on financial literacy and business development.

Team: What is the current composition of your team (types of roles, number of full-time vs. part-time staff, board members, etc.)? How will this team evolve as your initiative grows?

Fabretto, the organization implementing SAT in Nicaragua, is governed by a Board of Directors of seven members, which meets annually to provide strategic, financial, and technical counsel on current and prospective programs. Kevin Marinacci, Fabretto’s Chief Executive Officer, has 25 years of experience with the organization. The Executive Team consists of five key roles: President, VP-Director of Programs, VP-Director of Marketing & Communications, Managing Director of Finance, and Managing Director of Development. Each executive staff and board member holds advanced degrees in their fields. The board and executive team serve a staff of over 350, who work to operate SAT in 58 rural communities and 5 departments in Nicaragua.

Awards: What awards or honors has the initiative received?

•The Qatar Foundation named SAT as a WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) Award semifinalist (2013) •The Brookings Institution chose SAT as 1 of 12 case studies for its Millions Learning Project (2015) •The Drucker Foundation named SAT an Annual Prize semifinalist (2016) •The Inter-American Development Bank awarded SAT $1.8 mill in 2016

Organizational leadership: How are you influencing your field of work in the present?

One of SAT's vital forms of public change is through the empowerment and training of teachers, who guide the learning process as opposed to simply imparting information ala traditional high schools. Fabretto recruits tutors from the communities in which the program is implemented (many are standout program graduates) and continually develops their understanding of the methodology. One of tutors’ responsibilities is to help youth put knowledge into practice through the development of income-generating projects. In many instances, these projects become viable businesses, which tutors and other program staff help youth grow. Tutors become community leaders, creating change, and serving as role models that raises that status of teachers.

Should you be successful, please confirm your availability to attend the Ashoka Impact Boot camp and Creating Shared Value Prize Live Pitch Event at the World Water Forum 13-16 March 2018

  • Yes, I am available to attend the events on 13-16 March 2018

Evaluation results

26 evaluations so far

1. Overall evaluation

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 76.9%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 3.8%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 3.8%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 11.5%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 3.8%

2. Innovation

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 61.5%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 23.1%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 11.5%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 3.8%

1 - This entry is weak here - 0%

3. Social and/or Environmental Impact

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 76.9%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 7.7%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 11.5%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 3.8%

4. Financial sustainability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 66.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 100%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 33.3%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 8.3%

1 - This entry is weak here - 8.3%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%

5. Potential to Scale / Replicability

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 57.7%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 26.9%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 7.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 3.8%

1 - This entry is weak here - 3.8%

6. Organizational Leadership

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 61.5%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 26.9%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 7.7%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 3.8%

7. Potential for Creating Shared Value

5 - Absolutely, 100%! - 69.2%

4 - I feel really good about this - very promising - 15.4%

3 - This has some good elements and some areas for development - 11.5%

2 - This doesn’t inspire me so much - 0%

1 - This entry is weak here - 3.8%

33 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Crystal Spears

This seems like an exciting and innovative program to be involved in. I definitely believe it has the potential to offer opportunity for personal and professional growth for Nicaragua's rural youth and in turn be a benefit to the country as a whole. I also agree that this model could be used in many countries and provides not only the satisfaction of education but real results at the individual level with learning by earning.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and positive feedback!

Photo of Michelle Berkowitz Sultan

Marco A. Blanco congratulations on this initiative! Seems like you're doing fantastic work in Nicaragua. I'm curious about the earning % of the 420 cohort of 2016. What percentage of the 81% is engaged in agri-business? Of this percentage, how many are earning more than $2 a day? Also curious about the 19% attrition. Do you have a follow-up program in place for those who drop out?

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi Michelle Berkowitz Sultan 

Thank you for taking the time to read our application! Out of the 84% of SAT graduates you mentioned, 41% are working full-time and another 11% are both working and studying part-time. Our evaluations of student occupation are normally performed at a municipal level in order to assess context-specific future demand and needs. In a different 2016 study, we found that 65% of SAT youth in one community and 36% in another were currently engaged in agri-business. 

In regards to attrition levels, we consider SAT (19%) to be a considerable success over the national rural average of 40%. Nonetheless, SAT’s tutors often have long standing ties with the communities from which they are recruited and teach. They develop a close rapport with at-risk students and their families by performing house-visits, follow-ups, and tracking their progress. Hope this helps! Thanks again.

Photo of Natalie Walter

Marco A. Blanco  - I enjoyed reading stories about the program's beneficiaries, like Rosa and Katherine! It's encouraging to see how this "learning by earning" system gives students the tools to be not only future change-makers, but to take action now, as young people.
I have a question about the 58 communities that the program has benefitted so far. Since 81% of the graduates are continuing their studies or are engaged agri-business, I was wondering if you have a breakdown of how many income-generating ventures have been launched to date?
Keep up the good work! It's a pleasure to read about the work that these empowered young people are bringing about in their own communities.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi Natalie Walter   



Thank you for the positive feedback! Out of the 84% of SAT graduates you mentioned, 41% are working full-time and another 11% are both working and studying part-time. In addition to this, a recent 2016 study reported that 160 students are actively benefiting from the income-generating ventures they created within the SAT program. We are hopeful to keep helping rural youth and their families to lift themselves out of poverty. Thanks again!

Photo of Isabel Sacasa

What a great project! SAT seems easily scalable and could be replicated in any developing country with minor changes to its curriculum. The focus on learning by earning piece adds great value for youth who would otherwise be tempted to suspend their schooling in order to pursue other economic opportunities. I am interested to see the program grow in Nicaragua and hopefully many more countries in the near future.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Thank you for the positive feedback, Isabel!

Photo of Charlotte Schaus

Hi Marco, great project congratulations! I love the "Learning by earning" concept

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Thank you, Charlotte!

Photo of Pamela Quino Ramos

Hola Marco A. Blanco , sin duda una propuesta muy interesante y prometedora.
Nosotros Aquafondo Fondo de Agua para Lima y Callao , también trabajamos con comunidades campesinas, en el Proyecto Mejora del Aprovechamiento Sostenible de los Recursos Hídricos en San Pedro de Casta. 
Te invitamos a conocerla y posteriormente ser evaluados ¡Gracias!

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hola Pamela Quino Ramos 

¡Muchas gracias por su retroalimentación! Nuestra organización Fabretto está muy orgulloso del programa de SAT, y también nos alegramos muchísimo ver a otras iniciativas dedicadas al desarrollo de comunidades rurales. Sería un gusto leer y evaluar su iniciativa. ¡Gracias a usted!

Photo of Denise Wheelock

Great initiative! I think it's fantastic that time and effort is invested in promoting community service. Not only does it help students learn valuable life lessons but also contributes to building social trust within their communities.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi Denise Wheelock You're absolutely correct! Part of what makes us so proud of SAT is its ability to instill a sense of responsibility within our students for their family members, their neighbors, and their communities! And, to place it in practice with recycling campaigns, or community clean-ups, or even by creating communal gardens! Thanks for your feedback!

Photo of Jonathan Litscher

Great to see an education project focussing on practical skills in entrepreneurship and community leadership. These are the qualities that ultimately enable societies to develop in a sustainable way. And SAT already has already achieved inspiring success stories! It will be key to build up a sustainable funding model that is less based on grants and more independent. The idea of a for-profit arm focusing on entrepreneurship sounds promising here. Congratulations to you all and all the best!

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Thanks Jonathan Litscher for taking the time to read over our initiative! SAT is in the process of expanding it's for-profit arm to create a network of dedicated community leaders, young entrepreneurs, and corporate partners committed to promoting sustainable growth! Thanks again!

Photo of Johannus Vogel

Interesting proposal. I've seen first hand some of the work Fabretto does in Nicaragua and really believe that the SAT program is having a positive impact in the lives that it touches. The "learning by earning" approach can go a long way to empower otherwise marginalized youth and their families, allowing them to participate in value creation as entrepreneurs rather than low skilled workers. I look forward to see the impact that this initiative will have in the near future.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi Johannus Vogel Thanks for your kind words! It truly is amazing to witness these young adults speak with such optimism about their future as aspiring entrepreneurs and community leaders!

Photo of Beatriz Miranda

It's refreshing to see an initiative that tackles one of Nicaragua's most pressing problems, while being recognized and accredited by the Ministry of Education. Secondary education is a very big challenge, especially in rural areas where enrollment and attendance wanes down quite rapidly after the first year. Therefore, I am wondering, out of curiosity, how has SAT/Fabretto been able to keep students engaged and committed to completing the program itself?

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi Beatriz Miranda Thanks for your interest in SAT! You're absolutely right, it's a challenge to keep up retention rates for rural secondary schools in Nicaragua. Our biggest challenge may be rural family's economic vulnerability, where adolescents may serve as an additional source of revenue for the family. Therefore, a crucial element of SAT's success is to raise awareness about the value of education both in the short-tern and the long-term via parent workshops.

Secondly, SAT's "learn by earning" approach enables rural youth and their families to see a raise in revenue quite early on by either creating income-generating ventures and/or applying their teachings to improve their farm's productivity. I hope this answers your question!! Thanks again for your positive feedback and interest in our application!

Photo of Ramy Elmery

Five Stars All the Way Marco. Great Project. Good Luck with the contest

Photo of Alejandro

The initiative is very inspiring, but the economics of this initiative are not very clear. Apparently several 1,000´s of young people have benefited from the program, but the resources spent so far are in the range of a 1,000,000 USD? This seems like a very high amount for the number of students benefited.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi @Alejandro, thank you for taking the time to read our application! I certainly understand the confusion. Let me start by clarifying that the $1.8 million dollar grant from the IDB spans over the course of several years, from 2017 to 2020, which is roughly 80% of SAT's budget.

As you know, SAT's approach is to create income-generating ventures with students and their families. This means students are not the only beneficiaries, especially in rural areas where the average household may have 4 to 6 members. So while 1,200+ students benefited from SAT in 2016, the overall impact ranges around 5,000 people that year alone. This figure does not include the amount of teachers that are trained every year, nor does it include the citizens of 58 rural communities that benefit from the service projects mentioned above. All of these are indirect beneficiaries of SAT, and we hope to continue growing! Thanks for your interest!

Photo of Evie Klammer

Thanks for sharing the news of your family SAT. Education is the key to economic growth.

Photo of Karla Santana

Fabretto is an Amazing organization, that offers Education to unprivileged children and youth in rural communities in Nicaragua . I am so proud to be part of this organization that changes so many lives. Through the years I have seen myself so many success stories. Please support Fabretto to continue inspiring and motivating these children so they become better human beings and professionals to society.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Thanks Karla Santana for your support today and every day with your hard work! SAT really is an amazing program that helps underserved rural youth and their families! Thanks once again!

Photo of Mouhamadou Moustapha Seck

Education is the basis of all success and when we speak of communities, we think of development and this development will never be possible without the empowerment of populations. People living in rural areas have less access to education, which makes their development complex and with many obstacles. This niche should be highly valued and only for this I was very happy reading this work that besides being well written, conveys a message of love and very noble empathy. Much success ahead.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Thank you, Mouhamadou! We at Fabretto focus on empowering rural youth through education, honing key skills, and providing links to value chains. While it sounds very abstract, we have seen SAT transform hundreds of rural youths and their families who also find a way to contribute to their community. Thank you for taking the time to read about SAT, and giving us your positive feedback!

Photo of Mona Lisa Karene

Hello
My motto for my children growing up was 'You're either learning or earning; if you can do both, that's fantastic!" I can see that in your program and also like the incorporating of 'values' like community work as part of your education prgram.
Without the details i can comment only on what is here but I do feel that perhaps you can reach more youth given your current working budget. Again, you may have other lucrative activities that are not highlighted here, but it brings me to my questions:
-With such a great program, why isn't it part of the education department in Nicaragua?
-170 individuals per year since 2007, what are the roadblocks and how can you increase the impact rate?
Keep up the great work!
Mona Lisa Karene.

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Hi Mona Lisa Karene 

Thank you for taking the time to look over our application! We are always looking for new ways to improve and learn from others! Fabretto is an educational development organization in Nicaragua that focuses on three main stages of human development: early infancy, childhood, and adolescence. In 2017 alone, Fabretto benefited over 20,000 children across the country.

SAT is a secondary and tertiary rural program that is tailored to each community's needs and assets. As of 2016, more than 420 rural youth received their HS diploma via SAT, but that figure does not include the hundreds of kids that also received vocational certificates--nor does it factor how many students finished another year of schooling thanks to SAT or started an income-generating project for their family. In 2017, SAT had an initial enrollment of 1,200+ students, and we are very hopeful for this year's graduation rate. However, our main issue remains to be rural poverty because it keeps children outside of the classroom in search of desperately needed revenue and furthers the cycle of poverty.

In 2014, Fabretto noticed how the "learning by earning" approach could not only obviate (if not, mitigate) their family's economic needs but also contribute to their community in unprecedented ways. We are hopeful that others notice these benefits and help us further expand SAT to new rural communities!

Hope this helps answer your questions! Thanks again!

Photo of Mona Lisa Karene

Thank you for the answer, Marco; it makes it all clear. Wonderful work!

Photo of Usman Javaid

Such exciting work. Learning and earning together! I can see how that would be such a fun motivation for these kids to learn and grow from. Good luck!

Photo of Marco A. Blanco

Usman Javaid 

Thanks so much! The most inspiring aspect is to see rural youth speak of their future with such optimism--or when you can see their faces light up after their project becomes a real income-generating venture! Good luck to you, too, and keep up the good work!