Education and Literacy
Education equals empowerment. Education is the single most vital element in combating poverty and promoting human rights.
Here's what Esperanza de Guatemala is doing in this area:
Supporting the Local School
Esperanza has provided requested resources for the local primary school which is very under-resourced. We've contributed consumables, such as copy paper and classroom supplies, as well as permanent resources, such as classroom whiteboards and books.
We're beginning work on contracting a comprehensive teacher-training program, as well as a portable computer center.
The computer center was created to support the scholarship students as well as to offer computer/internet access to the community. The area's first high speed digital internet was installed. With six machines and two printers, it is currently the largest computer center in Nimasac. Challenges from the dusty environment and availability may warrant some changes in the future.
The community library opened in 2019 (sharing space with the community computer lab) with shelving and a beginning inventory of children’s books. Lending policies and procedures were adopted.
Currently due to COVID 19, the library continues to be closed. Esperanza remains committed to pursuing further expansion of the library when appropriate and safe to do so.
The Importance of Literacy and Education
Literacy is a step toward moving individuals out of poverty.
Being able to read and write creates a path toward improving all
social domains of living.
Literacy gives people the opportunity to develop skills needed to care for themselves, their families, and their community.
Literacy improves health outcomes. Healthy people are necessary for a healthy economy. In Guatemala over half of its people live in poverty.
Literacy rates for girls are lower than that of boys. Study after study shows that when women are educated, there are raised expectations for
all children in the family. Self-esteem is improved, family income
increases, and communities thrive.
The Scholarship Program
Esperanza has supported the Cary Presbyterian Scholarship program since 2017, for the 2018 school year, which runs from mid-January to the end of October. Eighteen students were served in the first year enabling their 2018 school expenses to be covered in full. Scholarships were offered for both local and private schools. Students and their families committed to good grades and strong attendance. Scholarship included registration fees, books and other supplies, monthly tuition, uniforms, transportation, other fees and replacement cost of the student’s contribution to the family income. In 2019 twenty-two students received scholarships, and in 2020 twenty-seven did so. As 2021 begins, because of graduations, completed programs and differing circumstances, there are twenty-one students.
The scholarship program is governed locally by community members in the village. The Community Scholarship Committee makes scholarship recommendations based on an application process and provides regular on-going support to each student and their family. Families and students attend monthly meetings where they talk about challenges, share their school experiences, and report their compliance with the scholarship program.