Dianova’s Las Marias Holistic Educational Center, located in the Managua area of Nicaragua, has received, and accepted, a formal invitation from UNESCO to become affiliated with that organization’s Associated Schools network. As a result, the Las Marias school is now part of “ASPnet” (UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network), which consists of more than 8,500 educational institutions worldwide.
The network is composed of schools considered to be genuine “innovation centers” committed to promoting the scholastic ideals and objectives of UNESCO in their respective communities. Being a UNESCO’s Associated School entails conducting a variety of pilot projects which focus on developing innovative educational approaches that reinforce internationally education’s cultural, caring and academic objectives.
The accreditation process lasted more than one year, and focused on a series of activities related to one of UNESCO’s primary concerns, The Environment. In implementing this effort, the Dianova Las Marias school undertook a challenging project dedicated to promoting environmental protection through a local re-forestation initiative.
400 Children Educated Each Year at Dianova School
The Dianova Las Marias Holistic Educational Center provides both primary and secondary educations to nearly 400 students from disadvantaged families, among whom 85 are boarding students, who receive complete psychosocial support which is designed to compensate for their life conditions outside of the school.
Since its inception, the Las Marias Holistic Educational Center has achieved important successes over the years, placing great emphasis on student sports. In addition, the center supports and conducts environmental protection and preservation initiatives; as an example, the above-mentioned re-forestation program, utilizing greenhouses as incubators and nurseries for the organic seedlings, was recently implemented.
All of these activities and achievements, in addition to the center’s fundamental commitment to education, have contributed to making the achievement of this important outcome successful.
The initials, UNESCO, stand for “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. In this role UNESCO acts as the key, global UN agency for education, natural sciences, human sciences, culture and communication, providing an important link between its joint functions of providing both authoritative standards and technical/operational functions. Most recently UNESCO has added the fields of Gender Equality, Youth, Least Developed Countries, the Culture of Peace and Dialogue among Civilizations to its agenda as key issues. The category of Youth encompasses the UNESCO Associated Schools Project, of which Dianova Nicaragua is a member. In 2008 it was agreed upon by UNESCO and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to form a partnership for the purpose of developing programs for other UN agencies.