From Houses to Homes believes that education is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty; however, there are many obstacles. Guatemala’s education system is severely underfunded. Although elementary education is supposed to be free, most schools require students to purchase uniforms, books and other supplies that teacher’s request. This presents a problem for the over 70% of Guatemalans that live below the poverty level. As a result, most children who are fortunate enough to start school at all, do not continue, or they only attend intermittently. Here are some sad facts:
- 3 out of 4 students read below grade level
- 7 out of 10 students do not continue their education after 6th grade.
- 49 out of 50 Guatemalans could not pass a college entrance exam
From Houses to Homes finds this unacceptable, and that is why we are dedicated to a high quality education for these poor children.
Escuela Kemna’oj , which in the Kechiquel language means “weaving minds, weaving knowledge,” offers children just that, a quality education. María de los Ángeles Jiménez Rosales, Principal/Director, and Rocxana García González, Psychologist, along with a staff of 10 dedicated teachers and volunteers are extremely supportive to students not only in the area of education but also regarding needs that may be identified outside of school. Poverty presents many problems that cannot be ignored; for example, often children are undernourished, which impacts their ability to learn. The staff of the school is aware that FHTH is in favor of identifying and meeting all the needs of the children.
We offer the opportunity to sponsor a student at the Kemna’oj School. This means that for a donation of $60 per month you would receive a picture of a student, and quarterly updates on how your student is progressing in school. You are invited to go to our website and view the students picture and choose the student you would like to sponsor. Currently there are 100 students enrolled and we have sponsors for 13 students.
Jean and John Scott of New Jersey, who sponsor a student say, “We chose to sponsor a child because of our belief that education is one of the most important opportunities to break the cycle of poverty that afflicts Mayan villages such as Santa Maria de Jesus. We chose to sponsor a girl because it has been shown worldwide that the education of women is one of the best ways to limit the size of families and (again) break the cycle of poverty.”
Hester Bury volunteered with FHTH and while building a home she noticed that many children did not go to school. She states, “It troubled me that the whole week we were there I saw very few of the children leave for school, although many of them were certainly of school age. When we visited the school I learned how hard it is for those families to afford the books necessary for the children to attend school. I was very moved by the whole trip, but felt that when I came back to my comfortable home where education is available for everyone, my most effective contribution would be to sponsor a child.” Hester sponsors Martina Chavez Antun.
The cost for FHTH to educate a child is approximately $60 per month. Through the initiative, every child receives two meals a day. It just takes $2 a day to offer a child an opportunity that can impact her life forever. This is a great project for a family to do together.
To learn more about how YOU can make a difference in the lives of the poorest of people in Guatemala, visit our website at www.fromhousestohomes.org. If you would like to contribute to one of our projects, click here to DONATE NOW!
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