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Epson Chile Helps Village Children Get a Better Education

Since 1985, Epson Chile has provided support to an escuela* in the rural town of Ensenada, in southern Chile. The escuela had about 80 students, but the geographical isolation of the town made it all but impossible for them to continue on to higher education. Epson launched the ongoing educational support project to give these people greater educational opportunities.




The educational support program was launched in 1985 after the general manager of Epson Chile, who was searching for the ideal location for a distributor meeting, saw the state of the school in Ensenada. Since then, Epson Chile has provided the escuela in Ensenada with various type of support. As a first step in improving the learning environment, ECSA contributed money to build a lunchroom, new classrooms and bathrooms. These improvements allowed the school to meet certain requirements established by the government and thus receive government aid. A scholarship system was also created to reward the best student each year and make it possible for that student to continue studying at high school. In addition, Epson created a new computer lab with access to the Internet and, to further improve the education level, invited two of the school's teachers to Santiago, the capital of Chile, for training in the Internet and new teaching methods. The school, which has grown to almost 180 students, is recognized as the only public school in the region where students have the opportunity to use PCs and printers.

The school has also opened its doors to any parents who want to finish their studies or learn new skills and occupations.

Escuela Ensenada decided to recognize Epson's effort and commitment to the school and community by changing the name of the school to "Escuela Epson Ensenada." The local community recognizes Epson's commitment and feels very close to the company.

Epson Chile's corporate social responsibility programs, such as the support project in Ensenada, are helping children succeed in the future. Everyone in at the company knows about Escuela Epson Ensenada, and is proud of the work there.

*An escuela is a rural school for children from 5 to 14 years of age.

Ensenada

Ensenada, a small rural town in the Los Lagos Region in the south of Chile, is dependent on agriculture and tourism. The region is known for its natural beauty, featuring numerous lakes and several active volcanoes. Escuela Epson Ensenada, situated near Llanquihue Lake, the largest lake entirely in Chile and the third largest in South America, gazes up toward Chile's most magnificent volcano, 2,652-meter Osorno. Because the shape of Osorno resembles Mt. Fuji, it is sometimes called the "Fuji of Chile."


Children in the computer lab. ECSA established the computer lab and donated a total of eight PCs, printers, and scanners. "I like my school's computers. No other schools in the area have the opportunity to show the students new equipment like personal computers." (8th grade student)

The school holds bicycle races and cultural events. Every year the general manager of ECSA and others are invited to these events, as well as to the launching of the new school year and the graduation ceremony.



ECSA sends presents to the students at Christmas. ECSA also provides pencils, notebooks, backpacks and other materials to children of families who cannot afford them.

Students at Escuela Epson Ensenada. Four students from the school have even gone on to university, with one studying medicine, another about to graduate from law school, and the others becoming engineers.



Epson provides the students with packages containing pencils, crayons and other items necessary for school life.

Children at the escuela enjoy a class thanks to PCS and a projector donated by Epson Chile.