For the past six years we’ve been telling you how our reading promoters are not only students, but they are mentors, and teachers, and leaders, and even entrepreneurs. I’m excited to report that now six of our teens are also community health promoters!
That’s right, during the school recess from November through December, several of our reading promoters have been hired to promote health and wellbeing among family and friends. Why do I mention this? Because once more the power of literacy has unlocked opportunities that these kids had hardly dreamed of. Our teens were hired because of the promotion skills they have developed in our program: self-confidence, the capacity to communicate clearly and persuasively, the ability to teach, and compassion for others. They were hired through Angelica’s uncle who works for the health program. In a country where everyone tells a story about Guatemalans being like crabs in a basket – collaborating to form a pile to the top only for the first one to escape and leave the rest behind – these teens have formed a network of mutual benefit. Angelica did not just take the job for herself. She shared the opportunity with her compañeros. In a country with high levels of malnutrition and short life spans, this community is lucky to have six new health promoters who will share valuable knowledge about health, hygiene, and nutrition.
Once again we are reminded of how our model is working in all kinds of amazing ways to improve quality of life and break the cycle of poverty in Guatemala. Like we’ve always said, invest in a teen and you’ll change thousands of lives. Donate during the month of December so we can reach even more teens in 2013. Help us reach $30,000 by December 31st. Give generously and thank you for your partnership in this work.
I leave for Guatemala today to celebrate the end of our 6th successful year and the high school graduation of four more reading promoters: Maribel, Laura, Rony and Olivia. We’ve seen the impact our teens have had on the children they read to, and now we’re seeing the impact on their own lives as they graduate. This powerful story is captured in a new video professionally produced for us by Adam Soch. Be sure to have a look!
While you’re there you’ll see we've undergone a complete makeover. We’ve created a new logo, as brilliant as the work we’re doing together, and a new website to showcase it all. And with hundreds of supporters around the world, we’ve built a fundraising platform that lets you engage your friends and family in this life changing work. Start networking here!
As we head into this season of gratitude I want to say thank you for standing by us all this time. We’re looking forward to a very bright future.
As you’ve probably figured out, we’re a literacy organization that doesn’t build libraries.
But we don’t have to. This past summer, the teenagers with whom we’ve been working to develop leadership skills and finish high school in the village of Concepcion informed us that they would be building their village’s very first library. They petitioned their town council for a building and have begun organizing the community in renovation efforts.
Never before has a return on our investment felt quite so tangible: four walls, a few dozen shelves, orange paint, and a group of impassioned teenagers who believe in the power of reading and writing to change their community.
This fall, invest in leaders like these. On October 17th, Global Giving will match every donation by 30%. For just 24 hours, you can multiply your money and help us reach our goal of raising $20,000 to change the lives of more than 2,000 children in 2013. Go to www.globalgiving.org and search for “Empower Guatemalan Youth” to find us.
And when you decide to support our work, remember this: In North America and much of Europe, $50 may fill your tank with gas, but in Guatemala it can provide teenagers with the resources to revitalize a community through reading and literacy programs. Make your money go further and give to Guatemala. Thank you for trusting us with your investment.