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Innovating to Boost Virtual Learning in Colombia

If only COVID-19’s massive geographic reach was where it ended: more than 200 countries and territories with diagnoses, more than 121 million people infected and 2.68 million lives lost in the first year.

But the pandemic’s impact is broad, and deep. In pre-pandemic Colombia, only 44% of children graduated grade school. With COVID causing additional challenges for students and teachers, United Way Colombia worked to ensure children could continue their education at home. 

United Way extended psychological and socio-emotional support to 3,350 teachers and 114,000 students and their families. This support included tools for kids, tips for parents and teachers, and virtual teacher training on creativity. United Way also created the “Virtual Maker Lab” to boost teachers’ effectiveness in distance learning, using platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and mass media. To help parents, United Way developed videos and images to spark children’s creativity while also offering mental health benefits like meditation, music and reading. 

Around the world, United Ways continue to build the bridges that meet ever-evolving needs among youth and their families during this pandemic.