ISP Countries


Why ISP Works in Ecuador

EcuadorEducational challenges in Ecuador have stemmed from lack of parental involvement, low pay for teachers and large classrooms.   Add to this the expectation that teachers rather than the parents are responsible for teaching values. This is  a recipe for hopelessness. Teachers need help and encouragement.

The Ecuadorian leadership team for the conference caught the vision of ISP to raise up and train educators who will have an impact in every school. They knew that  eventually not only would the classroom change but also life at home.

Ecuador TeachersIn 2016, ISP trained 216 teachers at our first DreamMakers-DreamBreakers conference in Quito. A principal from this first conference stated that  she is thinking about how she will use what she has learned with her teachers.  In that school she is planning a pilot project using this material that will become a model for other schools in the Northern district. We’re looking forward to going back in 2017 and hearing what the teachers have been doing since the initial training.

Fun Facts
  • The name Ecuador is Spanish for equator,  which actually runs right through the country.
  • It is located just south of Columbia and north of Peru.
  • Forming a part of the landscape of the country are the Galápagos Islands, situated in the Pacific.
  • Ecuador is the largest exporter of bananas in the world.
  • As a long-standing trading partner with the Unites States, Ecuador’s official currency is actually the U.S. dollar!
  • The guinea pig is considered to be a delicacy in Ecuador.
  • The colors of the flag are yellow for the diversity in the country, blue for the sky and the sea, and red for the blood of those who fought for independence.
  • Ecuador has many active volcanoes and also is one of the greatest densities of volcanoes in the world. Chimborazo Volcano, at 20,548 feet, forms the highest point in Ecuador, while the lowest point is formed by the Pacific Ocean.
  • The majority of the balsa wood in the world comes from Ecuador.
  • The country is divided into four geographical regions–coastal lowlands, mountain highlands, eastern jungle lowlands, and the Galapagos Islands.
  • There are , more Mobile Phones than people in Ecuador.
Why ISP Works in Guatemala

GuatemalaGuatemala is a major transit country for illegal drugs, especially cocaine. It is also home to drug cartels and gangs. However, ISP is working in the country to make a difference by equipping teachers to be more interactive in their teaching methods and understand more about the role of a teacher. These teachers become change agents in the lives of their colleagues and students as a result of the training.

Guatemala Face Painting“To transform Guatemala, we need to work with the young people who are the future leaders in our country,” said a representative from the provincial Ministry of Education during a 2016 conference in the country. Of the 15 million people in Guatemala, 57% are under the age of 25. As of 2016, ISP has held conferences in 21 of the 23 regions in the country.

Fun Facts

Guatemalan Jaguar Character

  • The highest point in Guatemala is Tajumulco Volcano at 13,845 feet and one of an estimated 29 volcanoes in the Central American country.
  • Guatemala’s main exports include coffee, sugar, and bananas.
    Their Independence Day is on September 15th.
  • Guatemala borders 4 countries: Mexico, El Salvador, Belize, and Honduras and 2 bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
  • Tikal, Guatemala, is home to Mayan ruins that were not officially discovered by their government until 1848 because the area was hidden by the tropical forest.
  • In 1958, archeologists discovered the tomb of Ah Cacau—or Lord Chocolate — one of the greatest Mayan rulers in what is known as The Temple of the Grand Jaguar.
Why ISP Works in Honduras

HondurasRecognizing that a significant need in Honduras is for a solid, ethical and moral society for the future, the Honduran Ministries of Education continues to invite ISP to train their teachers to instill ethics and morality in their classrooms. Last year, ISP held one Convocation in San Pedro Sula, the second largest city in Honduras and another in Juticalpa, in the Olancho District.

Honduran TeachersAs the Regional Director of Public Education for San Pedro Sula, Honduras, Doris Sambula spoke to the audience and stressed how important the conference was even though it was being held the very first week of the new school year. She said, “We know when we start a school year, it is complicated and you want to be at school! But this is a great opportunity to be trained. So please take advantage of it! We need to change the minds of our students. We need this conference for the sake of our students.”

“Violence and immorality are prevalent in my district. If I can help the children to make right choices, maybe I can impact their future,” says Manuel.*      (*Not his real name)

Fun Facts
  • Honduran Folk DanceLocation: Central America and the Caribbean
  • By the numbers: About 8.8 million people
  • Youth: 0 to 24 (55%)
  • Main language: Spanish
  • Greeting: Hola`
  • Land Mass: About the size of Tennessee
  • Borders: Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador
  • Flag: colors: Blue and white. The two blue bands represent the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean that surround the country. The white color represents the land between the water and peace and prosperity. The five stars represent the five countries that were in the Central American Republic: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.
  • Capital City: Honduras has two capitals: Comayaguela and Tegucigalpa
  • Honduras literally means “Great Depths” in Spanish.
  • ISP’s First Honduran Conference: 2012
  • Number of ISP Conferences: 18
  • Teachers Trained by ISP: 3,398
  • Number of Cities: 5
Why ISP Works in Kyrgyzstan

KyrgyzstanAs ethics and morals have eroded in Kyrgyzstan, teachers are eager for quality material which will inspire their students to live moral and ethical lives. In many places teachers work in meager conditions and materials are sparse. Because many parents emigrate to work, children are raising themselves with teachers standing in the gap.

Kyrgyz TeachersISP has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 2003. As a result, more than 2,800 teachers have had the opportunity to bring hope back into the classroom. Our local staff have worked hard to meet with these teachers during their summer breaks through teacher retreats. Some teachers have been copying their curriculums over and over again to share with their colleagues. It’s not uncommon for them to wear out the binding on their coveted ISP materials. They are hungry for training and supplies. As we head back to Kyrgyzstan this spring, we’re excited about how encouraged the teachers will be to utilize our new elementary curriculum.

Fun Facts
    • Mare's MilkKyrgyzstan is a country with two official languages: Russian and Kyrgyz.
    • The most famous national drink is “kumyz,” a fermented mare’s milk.
    • Horse meat is also traditionally popular.
    • There are over 88 major mountain ranges in Kyrgyzstan, making up  70 percent of the country’s territory.
    • People in Kyrgyzstan love tea. It is like a replacement for water, and they  drink tea with every meal.
    • Manas, a warrior who united Kyrgyzstan, is undoubtedly the most popular folk hero in the country.
    • “Kyrgyz” is thought to be derived from the Turkic word for “forty” – a reference to the 40 clans of the great Manas. The country’s flag, features a 40-ray sun.
    • Gold is king. Gold accounts for a remarkable 43% of Kyrgyzstan’s exports

Kyrgyz Yurt

  • It is sparsely populated. There are just 29.5 residents for each square kilometer of land–making Kyrgyzstan one of the world’s least crowded countries.
  • It is landlocked–but has a lovely lake,  the Issyk-Kul, which is the world’s second largest high-altitude lake (behind Titicaca in South America). It is 113 miles long, 37 miles wide and reaches a depth of 668 metres (2,192 feet). The lake was a popular holiday resort during the Soviet era.
  • They love the countryside.  Yurts still litter the steppes and just 36 per cent of the country’s residents live in an urban location.
Why ISP Works in Mongolia

MongoliaChinggis Khaan created rules for alcohol consumption—drunkenness was allowed 3 times a month. Alcohol consumption was ingrained in tradition under Russian rule as well. Alcohol abuse is common in Mongolia today as in many countries. The DreamMakers-Dreambreakers curriculum addresses this issue as a cause of broken dreams.

Fun Facts
    • Mongolian Shepherd BoyIt is about the size of Alaska.
    • July 11th marks the annual Naadam Festival—where boys and men compete to find who has the best wrestling, archery and horseback riding skills.
    • Was under Russian rule from 1924-1990
    • In 1206, Chinggis Khaan (“King of the Oceans” or “Universal King.”) founded The Mongol Empire (1206-1368) The Mongol Empire became the largest contiguous land empire in history. It began in the Steppes of Central Asia and stretched to Central Europe to the Sea of Japan, North into Siberia then Eastward to what is the Eastern Mediterranean today and Westward to the Arabian Peninsula.

Mongolian Traditional Music

  • Ulaanbaatar ranks first as the coldest capital city in the world.
  • Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, the current president of Mongolia thru 2017, attended the University of Colorado—Boulder and Harvard University.
  • Mongolia is known for its national drink, fermented mare’s milk (airag).
    Horses are a big part of their culture even appearing on their (tugrik) money.
Why ISP Works in Russia

RussiaIn October 1990 the unprecedented happened: the JESUS film premiered in the former Soviet Union. Following the premiere, an official from the Russian Ministry of Education approached the team, and asked, “Could this film be made available to all of our public schools? Communism has fallen and we need a new foundation for teaching our students.” They replied that it would be possible to provide the film as long as they were allowed to write a curriculum to accompany it and train the teachers to use it even though no such curriculum existed!

Moscow, Russia at NightThe Russian request presented a brand new opportunity for ministry that would eventually spread around the globe. ISP created a morals and ethics curriculum and introduced it to educators in Moscow. On May 15, 1991, ISP held its very first Convocation in Moscow. Twenty-six years, and 90,000 educators later, the ISP program is still growing to new places and new depths.

Fun Facts
  • By the numbers: 144 million population
  • Main language: Russian with 27 other languages
  • Land Mass: Largest country in the world, geographically and stretches across 9 time zones. Russia borders 16 other countries!
  • The Trans-Siberian Railway spans almost all the way across the county, making it the single longest railway in the world. The entire journey non-stop will take you 152 hours and 27 minutes to complete.
  • Russians will never shake hands over a doorway. It is believed to be a bad omen, and most Russians are convinced the action will lead to an argument.
  • Russians love flowers. There are florists and people selling flowers everywhere. But never give someone a bouquet with an even number of flowers – that is only done for funerals and to lay on graves!
  • Flag: three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red
  • The name Red Square has nothing to do with communism, but derives from the word “krasnyi,” which once meant “beautiful.”
  • Russians love tea and drink 3.051 pounds of tea per person per year, compared with 0.503 pounds in the U.S.
  • Russians celebrate new year two times a year (on the 1st of January and the Orthodox New Year on the 14th of January)
  • When you have visitors in Russia (friends or anyone else) you HAVE to offer them at least a coffee or tea with cookies, better yet serve a full meal. It’s rude if you don’t feed your guests. Most of communication with guests happens around the table, so the meal can last 3-4 hours or more.
  • The Soviet Union was the first modern state to have as an objective universal atheism, however only about 6% of Russians are confirmed atheists, the lowest percentage of any European country! Although there is no official survey, approximately 75% of the population define themselves as Christian, the vast majority of which are Orthodox. This is followed by Muslims at about 6%, then Buddhists and finally Jews. Interestingly, one state of Russia in the Far East was established for Jews!
Why ISP Works in Taiwan

TaiwanTaiwan is a transit point for heroin and methamphetamines, and domestically these are two of the major drug abuse problems in their country. It is ISP’s desire to do more than just hold conferences. ISP wants to develop Taiwanese staff who will host the training events. More importantly, we seek to equip teachers who become multipliers of life-change.

Taiwanese TeachersISP was first invited to work in Taiwan in 2011. In that first year, 30 nationals were trained as facilitators to lead small groups and teach future DreamMaker sessions. In 2014, the leaders in Taiwan started conducting DreamMaker conferences without help from North American volunteers. They have a great vision to reach their country. Some of the main lessons include: “Benefits of Drug Abstinence” and “Consequences of Alcohol Abuse.”

Fun Facts
  • Falling in Love With TaiwanMain export: computers
  • The country’s economy ranks 17th in the world, although it is the size of Delaware and Maryland combined.
  • Taiwan has 22.2 million cell phones and 23.5 million people.
  • Nearby Countries: China, Japan, and the Philippines.
  • In Mandarin, “Taiwan” is translated as “Terraced Bay.”
  • Play ball: Baseball is the favorite sport of the Taiwanese people.
  • Although Mandarin is the official language, many prefer to speak Fujianese and Hakka.
  • ISP in Taiwan: Since 2011
  • ISP Conferences: 24 conferences
  • People Trained: 1,499
Why ISP Works in Ukraine

UkraineISP has worked in every state (Oblast) in Ukraine, and more than 10,000 teachers are trained in the use of the DreamMakers-DreamBreakers curriculum, and more than 11,000 are equipped to use the Foundation of Christian Ethics curriculum. Not only are more than 400 trained in leadership, but some of them also travel to other countries to assist in training their teachers.

Ukraine in WinterThe movement has been nationalized for several years, meaning Ukrainians are responsible for the DreamMaker conferences, discipleship and follow-up, expansion within their oblast and building their local movements. Even more popular than DreamMakers-DreamBreakers, the Parenting Curriculum is the most requested ISP curriculum in Ukraine.

Ukrainian educators are increasingly taking local ownership of the ISP movement by establishing local Teacher Movement communities. These communities are created for the purpose of collaboration, mentoring, and professional development as well as encouragement.

Fun Facts
  • By the numbers: 44,209,733 population
  • Main languages Ukrainian and Russian
  • Land Mass: Slightly smaller than Texas. It has an area of 603,628 square km, making it the largest contiguous country on the European continent.
  • It is one of the largest grain exporters in the world, as represented on its flag.
  • The city of Lviv is sometimes claimed to have the most cafes in the world per capita.
  • Borders: Poland, Romania, Moldova, Belarus, Slovakia, and Russia
  • Flag: two equal horizontal bands of azure (top) and golden yellow represent grain fields under a blue sky
  • Main Religion: Orthodox
  • Ukraine was home to one of the world’s first-ever constitutions, in the form of the Constitution of Pylyp Orlyk, written by a Ukrainian Cossack in 1710. It established a democratic standard for the separation of powers in government between the legislative, executive and judicial branches, an idea perhaps made more famous by Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws, which was published in 1748.
Guatemalan Teachers
Mare's Milk
Kyrgyz Yurt
Moscow at Night
Mongolian Traditional Music