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Program Area: Education
Grant Amount: $424,000 over 36 months
Awarded: 2016
Posted: December 13, 2019

Fabretto has worked with economically vulnerable and marginalized communities in Nicaragua for more than 60 years, building a strong reputation for empowering underserved children and their families to reach their full potential. Today, the organization serves over 30,000 children and youth from rural and urban regions across Nicaragua.

Fabretto has long recognized the need to develop new approaches to meet the learning needs of young people. Since 2007, Fabretto has implemented the Tutorial Learning System (SAT), an alternative rural education program that provides access to secondary education and technical training to rural youth and their families. Fabretto is the only non-profit authorized by the Ministry of Education to offer accredited secondary school SAT diplomas. During the past decade, the Tinker Foundation has supported Fabretto’s efforts to strengthen the instructional and curricular quality of SAT, creating a replicable model in the region.

In 2018, Fabretto received a multi-year grant to enhance and evaluate SAT’s impact on rural communities. As part of the project, Fabretto will digitize the curriculum to reduce the costs of paper-based workbooks and allow for responsive, flexible content. To date, Fabretto has created an online course platform and selected an initial set of courses (beekeeping, coffee production, agricultural methods) for blended learning, combining online educational materials with traditional place-based classroom methods. A pilot cohort of thirty-three participants participated in a beekeeping course that included five newly created demonstration videos on beekeeping.

With Tinker support, Fabretto will also conduct an evaluation on the economic impact of SAT on student’s families and communities. In partnership with researchers from the University of Illinois, Fabretto has finalized the evaluation design and selected the control and experimental groups. Next year, the researchers will complete the evaluation and produce a report that outlines SAT’s impact on income per household.

A final objective of this grant is to enhance collaboration between non-profit organizations that implement SAT or SAT-like programs across Latin America. In early 2019, Fabretto organized the first annual international conference that included presentations and activities centered around new initiatives and innovative technologies in SAT. These conferences provide a key opportunity to refine the model and deepen the impact of each organization using SAT.

Over the coming years, Fabretto will continue to enhance and evaluate its SAT program in order to deliver high-quality education to students and their families in rural communities across Nicaragua.

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