ECLT Implementing Partner: Defensa de Niñas y Niños - Internacional – DNI Costa Rica

Since 2014, the ECLT Foundation has been working to build a sustainable “Rural Training Model” to prepare children and young people to find decent work in rural communities where tobacco is grown. Education is a key part of getting children out of child labour and preparing them for the future.  

The EEMPATA project has already brought secondary education to San José de La Máquina, Guatemala, through an innovative “teleschool” programme, giving teenagers the chance to learn job skills after primary school.  From 2017, the project has begun the inclusive, sustainable, market-driven relevant youth employment training curriculum, in close collaboration with community members and local companies.  

In addition, the project provides child labour training for teachers and technicians from tobacco companies that work with the farmers so that they can help families prevent it.

Supporting Primary-School Children with After School Programmes

In La Maquina District, many children involved in child labour underachieve at school. To address this challenge, ECLT’s project supports 70 boys and girls, ages 6 to 14, with after school programmes. For four hours every week, the youth receive instruction from four teachers who help them catch up on schoolwork and gain confidence in their learning.

ECLT also supports after school programmes during the holiday period, in November and December, when children are more vulnerable to returning to child labour.

Strengthening Secondary Education with a Teleschool (Telesecundaria) and Vocational Training

In 2016, ECLT organised an important football tournament to identify teenagers who lack access to secondary education. Following the event, 80 youths enrolled in school. ECLT also supported the creation of a teleschool, and provided desks, TV screens, computers, internet access and electricity. This has supported the teenagers to complete their education and study core school subjects.

ECLT will launch a vocational training in 2017-18, designed to address the needs of the local labour market and help teenagers find decent work opportunities.

“We enrolled 80 students, ages 14 to 20, in secondary school. We will support them with vocational training, mainly in business, so that they can get a job or create their own enterprise.”

Virginia Murillo, Director of Defensa de los Niños Internacional Costa Rica, ECLT Foundation’s partner in La Maquina, Guatemala, 2016.


The Telesecundaria: Providing Education to Children with Teleschool

“For 30 years, we have been waiting for this project and, thank God, it has become a reality,” said the Second Councilman of the Municipality of San José Maquina, during the inauguration ceremony on February 24, 2016. The Councilman expressed that these communities have long suffered from a lack of important services, such as education.

ECLT helped identify 80 students, ages 14 to 20, in need of educational support and who are now enrolled in the two levels of the teleschool programme. 

“There used to be children who wanted to study but had nowhere to do so. Other children were not interested in studying, but we can now motivate them because we have a teleschool in the community,” said a representative from the community, referring to the limited access to education adolescents often face in the area.

In November 2016, an education committee was legally formed to manage the teleschool. The school will benefit children living in this rural community in the long term.