Sep26

Reaching Out for Education

After living and working in Guatemala with Food for the Hungry (FH), my wife and I have developed a passion to see Middle and High School students given the opportunity to continue their education. After conversations at our annual charitable giving meeting with KPFF Special Projects, I proposed contributing finances toward a scholarship fund through FH that would open this door for students. KPFF donated $3,000 and together with other contributions, approximately $8,000 went towards this fund.

In Guatemala, only elementary school is free. Young kids who grow up in an isolated village never truly have a chance to change their way of life if they are not able to pay for Middle or High School. Jobs outside of a rural community require more than a 6th grade level of education. They can be a farmer or a day laborer, paying about $1.50 per day. I believe that education is the equalizer, allowing men and women options beyond the trappings of their current conditions.

Three years ago there was one kid in the village we partner with, who was in Middle School and no one else beyond that education level. However, through FH’s encouragement and interaction with the community, last year the 1 student had reached Tech School level and there were 8 new Middle School students.

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With the help of KPFF Special Projects contribution towards these scholarships, this year there are 32 students in Middle School. When the scholarships were announced in the village last year, parents scraped together money to travel to the FH office and stood in a line that stretched around the corner to sign their children up for the scholarship program. Parents are recognizing the value and with the funds available, students are jumping at the chance to study and take themselves further than the generation behind them.

This is a pretty amazing step for such a rural and small village.

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