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 3 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 15 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 in the evenings 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 even the most basic things. 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 them about personal care and provide necessary supplies.
Our scholarships cover 100% of the expenses related to the students' education including: enrollment fees, school supplies, books, uniforms, transportation, and some extra-curricular activities. Our staff visit the schools weekly and are in regular contact with the teachers.
We are blessed to have a small school house in the community that we affectionately call "La Escuelita". Our staff teaches supplementary classes after school for each grade level. We also provide office hours for children to work on their homework & receive extra tutoring when needed.
Some of our students had attended some school before Faith Seeds, but were forced to drop out. Students in this program attend special remedial classes so they are able to eventually attend school with others their age.
Sadly, we have many cases of malnutrition among our students. One of our goals is to make sure each child that comes to La Escuelita receives a warm and nutritious meal each day. It wasn't until 2019 and through generous donations that we have been able to provide this consistently. Thank you!
One of our goals is to contribute to the development of valuable individuals in the community. We encourage them to embody values such as love, respect, perseverance, kindness and solidarity.
In the beginning, their view of the world didn't go far beyond the garbage dump where they lived. Through our sponsorship program, our students are able to establish a connection with someone in another part of the world and allow their dreams to expand beyond those related to garbage.
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