There was great excitement in both London and Dorset on Monday evening, 9th September, as Canford took home the prestigious ‘Public School of the Year’ trophy at the annual Tatler Schools Awards
The Argentina Partnership is with Hogar el Alba, a children’s home in a suburban shanty-town on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. Our link with ‘The Hogar’ as it is affectionately known is now over ten years old.
The Hogar is a warm and welcoming family dedicated to helping those in need. They take in as many children as they can afford to and provide them with food, shelter, education, and all the love they require. This is done in a family environment with a homely boarding house system with house ‘mums’ rather than dormitories. Boys, girls, older and younger children all live together and the older ones help look after the younger ones. When the children are younger they attend the adjacent school along with locals from the surrounding slum, and when they grow older they learn a trade. The Hogar educates, for free, hundreds of the local teenagers, giving them the skills required to get a job and become self-sufficient. They learn farming, cheese-making, animal husbandry, beekeeping, butchery, bakery and so on. No child is ever asked to leave the home at 18 years old when the Government funding stops - this happens in many other institutions. Children stay at The Hogar until they have a steady job and somewhere to live. Some choose to stay at The Hogar and work there as maintenance teams, bakers, chefs and so on for a simple wage, sometimes as little as just bed-and-board only, because their love of the family of The Hogar is so strong. The Hogar has not received the Government money it ought to have for many months and has thus become totally reliant on the donations it gets from places like Canford.
|Examples of Pupil Activities|
|Daily from 7am||Collecting firewood and preparing breakfast|
Renovating the concrete stage in the crumbling sports hall and painting a mural.
Sanding, staining and building new bunk beds for the children bought with Canford pupil donations - the first time any of the children had ever received a new piece of furniture.
Renovating the bakery or 'Panaderia'.
Complete redecoration of boarding houses.
Building a new classroom above the dairy.
The 'Casa Amarillo' project - converting a derelict building full of rubbish, dirt and decades of undergrowth into a habitable building complete with a roof. To see one part of the building already being lived in after 3 years of work was a real sense of achievement. The 'Casa Amarillo' is a bungalow in which teenagers can live with a little more independence and learn how to be self-sufficient in a safe environment. It is these infrastructure projects that The Hogar has come to rely on Canford’s donations for and the free labour force to complete them.
Planting new orchards.