FRIENDS OF GUATEMALAN CHILDREN INC wrote -
As kids in other countries are just starting the school year, at Casa Guatemala we are almost at its end! But we need your help to get us through to the end of the year and ensure that we can run our incredibly successful summer school program in November and December! Help us to make a long term impact in the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in Guatemala.
2015 started with 255 children enrolled in school from kindergarten through 6th Grade with 127 staying on site and only going home on weekends or during vacations. The other half come and goes from their homes everyday as they live close by. We are currently helping kids from 116 different families from 31 different communities. The majority of which are Mayan Q’eqchi. 76% of the children speak Q’eqchi at home and most don’t speak Spanish upon their arrival. Its amazing to see the transformation in just a few months as they are now all learning, speaking and reading in Spanish thanks to our wonderful teachers and volunteers! Another important fact about our demographics is that we are almost equal in the number of girls and boys. Every year differs but we pride ourselves in ensuring that the girls of the communities we serve have equal access to education and we teach them the importance in continuing their studies after the leave Casa Guatemala. We work to ensure that our graduates are able to continue on to higher levels of education by securing opportunities for scholarships, sponsorships and free education programs from other community based organizations in the area.
In addition to the regulated curriculum, the students of Casa Guatemala receive classes in English, Computer literacy, Library studies, Art and handicrafts, and sustainable farming practices on the large school farm. The farm not only trains the students in agriculture but also provides a base of fruits and vegetables for the kitchen, where the children also learn to cook healthy and nutritional meals.
Casa Guatemala has a large staff to run their operation including the teachers that run the school and act as house supervisors for the children when they are not in class. There are farm workers, maintenance staff, boat drivers, social workers and administrative staff both onsite and in the offices in the city. Along with the team of international volunteers, this makes for up to 300 people to feed everyday. Additional costs stem from the cost of fuel used in running the generator to provide energy and pump water and for the transportation to and from the children's village everyday as it is only accessible by boat.
Casa Guatemala's operating budget is over $325,000 a year. Right now we need to raise at least $80,000 just so that we can make it through to the end of the year. Please help us to support Casa Guatemala so that they can continue to provide these important services to the children in their care. There are no other options for these children; many walk for two or three hours to get there, usually without shoes and with only the clothes on their backs and stay throughout the school year, only occasionally going home for holidays or weekends when their parents can afford to come for them. It is our goal to give these children the best access to education possible so we can break the chain of extreme poverty and malnutrition that is so rampant in Guatemala.
Your one time or monthly donation can make a huge difference in the futures of these wonderful kids. Please help in which ever way you can to support Casa Guatemala's education program!