What exactly is non-formal education?

According to Jaume Trilla’s book “Education outside of school,” non-formal education encompasses all activities conducted outside the school environment and beyond the structured framework of the educational system. Its purpose is to foster intellectual and personal growth.

With this definition in mind, it becomes evident that volunteering constitutes a form of non-formal education. Therefore, many of the activities within volunteer organizations or corporate social responsibility initiatives undertaken by companies are essentially educational endeavors that shape and transform participants.

Consequently, we can confidently assert that the events of Good Deeds Day 2023 across the globe are, in essence, aligned with SDG #4: Quality Education. Given the nature of volunteering, a significant proportion of the projects and activities involved in this global initiative contribute to education through non-formal means.

In this blog article, we delve into some of the projects executed during Good Deeds Day 2023 in Latin America. These initiatives not only educate by virtue of the volunteering aspect but are also directly linked to the non-formal educational progression of the participants. Thus, they distinctly emphasize non-formal education.

In the Chilean city of Valparaíso, a reflective and sports day was organized under the banner of “The Transformative Power of Social Sport.” This event aimed to unite children’s soccer coaches, leaders, parents, and children from the five soccer schools sponsored by the Municipality of Valparaíso. The goal was to bring about positive change in the vulnerable regions of the area through friendly and communal sports activities. On Día de las Buenas Acciones Chile, Chile provided the necessary materials to equip the soccer fields in the El Ancla sector of Cerro Playa Ancha.

Through sports and non-formal education, an educational journey began, involving numerous children, parents, coaches, and leaders collaborating as a team. The values of solidarity, camaraderie, and empathy were translated into action through play and shared experiences.

On April 8, Cuba, in collaboration with the Central Institute of Pedagogical Sciences and the Support Group for People with Intellectual Disabilities and their Families (GADIF Cuba), organized an educational talk titled “Autism and Family” on Dia de las Buenas Acciones Cuba. The event took place at the Municipal Library of Bauta in the province of Artemisa.

This gathering saw the participation of teachers, education and health professionals, public officials, and mothers of children with autism. For over two hours, they engaged in an informative conversation about children with autism, discussing their potential and the crucial role of families in their growth and development.

As a direct outcome of this event, the Bauta chapter of GADIF Cuba was established, serving as a concrete illustration of the positive impacts that non-formal education can yield across diverse communities.

As part of the initiatives undertaken by the Dia de las Buenas Acciones Ecuador, in collaboration with the Santa Ana youth group from the Santa Ana de Samborondón Church, a Workshop on Programming Activities and the Use of Educational Tools was conducted.

The primary objective of this workshop was to assist groups of volunteers, both within the church and other organizations, in initiating a well-structured, transparent, and planned program of activities.

During this workshop, participants shared experiences and knowledge that will be instrumental in aiding volunteers to adeptly plan their activities. This includes defining precise objectives and employing effective methodologies to ensure the successful execution of projects and the attainment of their established goals.

Ongoing training of volunteers through non-formal educational activities is pivotal in executing volunteer endeavors systematically and aligning them with their objectives.

In Mexico: Día de las Buenas Acciones Aguascalientes

In collaboration with the Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, a camp was organized for children from low-income communities. The camp featured a range of diverse activities including:

  • Educational workshops
  • Artistic workshops
  • Environmental education workshops
  • Sports activities

All these activities took place in an atmosphere of positive interaction, promoting values of social responsibility and setting examples of goodwill. This provided the children a distinctive opportunity to participate in a camp and learn in a unique setting.

To identify the children who would attend the camp, a community-wide call was initiated. Children were encouraged to carry out acts of kindness throughout a month to accumulate points. The first 40 children who achieved the highest scores were granted the chance to attend the camp.

Student volunteers from the university, typically part of a formal education framework, took part in this non-formal education endeavor. This allowed them to directly experience the advantages and lessons that non-formal education offers.

The mission of Chiquis Naturales is: “to educate every mother about the natural solutions available for maintaining the health of our children and how we can embrace a high-quality lifestyle.”

With this mission in focus, and driven by the principle of non-formal education through volunteering, Chiquis Naturales celebrated Good Deeds Day 2023 in Paraguay with a project called “Give me a Hand.” This initiative revolved around providing hand massages to older adults experiencing joint pain or lingering discomfort from post Chikungunya effects.

As an integral part of the educational essence of this activity, volunteers shared information about the numerous advantages of aromatherapy in general, with specific application to the hands, while administering the massages. This project exemplifies the commitment of Chiquis Naturales to education, health, and community support through the spirit of volunteering.

In Fundación Impronta the coordinator of Good Deeds Day believes in a Venezuela of opportunities, in a country where everyone can develop their maximum potential. Fundación Impronta is dedicated to teamwork, where everyone contributes their best skills, and non-formal education through volunteering is a means to achieve these goals.

One of their projects this year was “Reading on Wheels,” conducted in schools located in vulnerable sectors. This initiative involves activities that promote reading.

The target audience for this project is children who have been affected by the pandemic. Due to the circumstances, their reading and writing skills are not proportional to their age. However, this program focuses on playing and reading to help them improve and progress.

To explore more about Good Deeds Day, visit the website where you can explore various project ideas.



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