Guatemala has the highest illiteracy rate in Central America. On average, children in Guatemala attend school for only 4 years. For every 10 Guatemalan children who enter the school system, only 4 will graduate from primary school (similar to elementary school) and only 1 will complete secondary school (similar to high school). We are very proud to have 10 high school graduates so far and many more on their way!
Nearly half of the Guatemalan population is indigenous, living in rural areas with limited access to adequate resources and far from any form of formal education. The families that Faith Seeds works with live in a remote community of Quetzaltenango that is adjacent to the city's 'basudera' (garbage dump). The bus to school takes over a half hour each way. All transportation is provided by Faith Seeds.
Over 60% of Guatemalans are living below the poverty line. Many children, especially those in rural areas, are often forced to leave school to help provide for their family. This is the most common story among our students. Their living situations are also often without water or electricity, so we offer the Faith Seeds school house to them to complete homework, receive tutoring, and eat a warm meal.
Public education in Guatemala comes with many fees which many families simply cannot afford. There is very little government support for education, especially in rural areas, so the schools have to charge for uniforms, supplies, etc. We learned early on that the students also need assistance keeping up with hygiene and grooming to avoid bullying so we do our best to educate about personal care and provide necessary supplies.
Our scholarships cover 100% of the expenses related to education including: enrollment fees, school supplies, uniforms, transportation, books and extra school activities.
Our staff teaches supplementary classes after school for each grade level. Each lesson includes a nourishing meal. We also provide office hours for children to work on their homework & receive extra tutoring, if needed.
Many children and adults in Guatemala never attended school before Faith Seeds. Students in this program attend special remedial classes to raise their education level so they are able to eventually attend school with others their age.
Parents who work in the garbage dumps have no option but to take their young children with them which is very dangerous. Faith Seeds provides a safe and educational option for these families.
The main objective of this program is to contribute to the development of valuable individuals in the community - to embody values such as love, respect, perseverance, peace, kindness and solidarity.
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