Education for the Children (EFTC) runs The School of Hope: “Escuela de la Esperanza” in Jocotenango, Sacatepéquez (Guatemala). Our organization focuses on providing quality K-9th education and full-ride High School and University scholarships , nutritious food, clean water, medical care and psychological support to 475 students at the School of Hope and 213 Further Education Scholarship Students from one of the poorest areas in Guatemala.
The funds that we raise through this campaign will help us to cover the costs of running the program during the Covid-19 crisis. Including: internet access for our scholarship students, keeping our teachers on payroll, running remote classes, and providing mental health services including life saving medications.
As a result of the COVID-19 Crisis, the school has been forced to close for the last 6 weeks and many of our families have lost their jobs as most of them work in the informal economy which has come to a screeching halt due to government regulations to stop the spread of the virus. These regulations include a strict curfew of 6pm to 4am, no public transportation, school closures, and the closure of all non-essential business. All of our students have been severely affected by the school closure as in addition to formal education, the school provides a well equipped space to do their homework, do internet research, eat, and even just relax in a safe place.
After the lockdown started in Guatemala, the School of Hope had to look for ways to continue supporting our students’ education. The response was as diverse as out student population. Our teachers have shared weekly content, homework, motivational videos, etc. through our facebook and whatsapp parent´s groups; printing information and sharing it on big posters outside the school for the families that do not have internet access, or even visiting the families to check how they are doing and bringing them the work sheets and food bags for the students.
Scholarship students, especially those in University are expected to stream online lectures, submit homework online, and participate in video chats to complete group projects. The students supported by EFTC do not have internet, computers or tablets at home, making the already challenging adjustment to autonomous learning nearly impossible. EFTC has responded by loaning out the limited technology we have to them, buying internet data packs for as many as possible, and developing partnerships with office supply stores in the communities where out students live so that they can get materials, and make photocopies.
To date We have provided the 390 families in the program with three monthly food bags that include a variety of filling foods, both nutritious and liked by our families. Such as: black beans, rice, pasta, sugar, cooking oil, vitamin enriched porridge, and many other items.
With your help we will be able to keep providing these essential services throughout the crisis making sure our students don´t lose valuable time, and have the support they need to build the necessary skills to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families and to overcome this pandemic.