To celebrate the end of 2011, the Embassy of Canada to Uruguay has provided new opportunities for underprivileged children by supporting three Uruguayan schools with a special tie to Canada. The Government of Uruguay chooses names for its schools, naming some after countries and others after influential Uruguayans. These three schools have “Canada” in their name.
At the rural Escuela Canadá Nº 26 [Canada School No. 26], located in Tala, Canelones, funds were directed towards refitting a room for physical and artistic activities (including the purchase of new equipment and material), as well as renovating the kitchen and dining room. This school is fairly isolated, has only one teacher, and many of the children travel four kilometres daily on foot, horseback or bicycle to get to school. The school also serves a community function as a meeting place for neighbours to celebrate birthdays and hold meetings.
In the Department of Florida, Escuela Canadá Nº 37 [Canada School No. 37] received recreational and sports equipment to promote health and develop students’ communication skills.
Escuela Canadá Nº 174 [Canada School No. 174], located in Montevideo, is the largest of the three schools. The new funds went towards equipment to upgrade its physical-education room and audiovisual facilities. The school also received a variety of material to help with English language classes. These new resources will give the students better opportunities to develop their potential throughout their secondary education.
In appreciation, the students organized a ceremony where they presented their drawings, songs and traditional Uruguayan dances to a charmed audience, including Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy, Canadian Ambassador Francis Trudel and the Director of the International Development Research Centre, Federico Burone.
Funding for the three schools was provided through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives.