For 2010, in response to our contacts’ dramatic requests, The Cuba Corps initiated a program of after-school care for children at risk: the objective is to help these community leaders, parents and grandparents to have a larger input in their children’s formation. In 2011 and 2012, The Cuba Corps continued its support and guidance to the existing programs, and welcomed new start-ups as more donations were received.
• In January 2010, three centers were started in Pinar del Rio, Matanzas and Santa Clara. The choice of towns depends entirely on their ability to organize the program locally—and our ability to fund them.
• During that year, more towns started a Children’s Program: San Juan y Martinez, Pedro Betancourt, Sancti Spiritus, Santiago de las Vegas, Cumanayagua and Manzanillo, and at present there are new projects in Camagüey, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Vedado, Guanabacoa, and San Miguel de los Baños and Santiago de Cuba. Today, in late 2012, there are 16 programs.
• The Program services 15 to 80 children, ages 4 to 14 years of age, after school. Local professional teachers, or teachers with experience, under the direction of a member of our Network of Trust, are in charge. Some programs operate three days a week, others four, others five—this is up to each local group.
• The Program—the curriculum—centers on teaching meditation and centering, manners, collaboration and cooperation, teamwork, creativity and independent thinking skills, with films, music, arts and crafts and games: we want to help the children find a space of tranquility and fun!
• The Cuba Corps’ provides a small amount of money on a monthly basis to each project –a stipend for the teacher and teacher aide and for snacks and materials.
The core of this initiative is a response to the stated intimidation and indoctrination of the children in Cuba in their schools and para-governmental organizations; they learn to hate through the constant brainwashing and sloganeering they receive from their schools, the Pioneros and the entire social milieu. By creating a space of fun and peace, of independent thinking, of enhanced creative endeavors, of learning good manners and cooperation instead of aggression, we are impacting the kids—and the adults involved in the program: some 400+ children, about 30-40 teachers and facilitators and some 1,100 family members—in a life-changing manner.