Ninos de Guatemala

Ninos de Guatemala's mission is to contribute to a better future for the people of Guatemala through education. We aim to realize our mission by initiating and supporting small-scale development projects in the most impoverished areas. We believe in the role of education as the most successful tool for the development of each child, his or her family, and the community they belong to. Community involvement is central to NDG's projects, as we believe that our projects belong to the Guatemalans they serve and are therefore an active part of it.
Oct 23, 2013

Preparing for Summer School

Study time
Study time

The school year in Guatemala starts in January and ends in October, which corresponds with the important coffee harvest season here. Our 198 students just finished another year of school, and are currently enjoying a couple of weeks vacation time before returning to our schools in November for Summer School. 

Although not mandatory in Guatemala, we believe that this extra month of schooling is crucial to our students' success each academic year. During the four weeks of Summer School, students meet their new teacher for the coming school year and get settled into their new classrooms. They receive reinforcement classes on the subjects they learned in the previous grade level and start getting a "sneak peak" at concepts they will be mastering during the upcoming school year. This month is also when our new transfer students and incoming class of preschoolers will join us and start learnign the rules and norms of NDG schools. 

All said, November is a BIG month for our schools and staff. Its also a big month for expenses in our organization, since we need to purchase extra suplies for each student and classroom to allow this extra month of learning. We need to purchase Q16,400 (roughly $2100) worth of school materials this month and we need your help to make sure our students get the head start on 2014 that they desperately need.

Wednesday Oct. 23 Global Giving will be matching all donations made to our organization, which will help us purchase these materials. So, for every notebook you help us purchase, Global Giving will donate a little extra for pencils. 

Please, help us raise the $2100 we need to complete these purchases and finish this year of learning on a high note! 

Aug 29, 2013

Kitchen Mothers

Mothers volunteering
Mothers volunteering

Although the main focus of Niños de Guatemala is providing educational opportunities to impoverished and at-risk children, we think the best way to keep a child in school is to engage their parents as well. We provide a variety of programs for parents of our students, such as monthly parenting classes and self-esteem groups. 

One such program harnesses the eagerness of our students' mothers to help out at the school by organizing them into volunteer shifts for our kitchen. The organization benefits because we can employ a single cook to prepare roughly 500 meals a day (breakfast and lunch). The students benefit by eating the delicious, nutritious meals and enjoy seeing their moms during the day.

The mothers benefit in a variety of ways. They learn new and affordable recipes made from local ingredients, which they can later use in their homes. They have a chance to observe their children in the school setting, and get to know their friends and teachers better. Many mothers lead very isolated lives, spending most of their time at home watching young children and completing household chores. The opportunity to get out of the house and spend some time bonding with other mothers in a safe, neutral setting builds self-confidence and strengthens the community.

When you support Niños de Guatemala, you are promoting education and community bonds for not only the 300 children in our programs but also their mothers, siblings, families, neighborhoods and communities. Thank you for your support!

May 31, 2013

English Program

Girl learning alphabet in English
Girl learning alphabet in English

Our English Program has been a great success in the classroom since it was started last year. The students are thrilled to be learning a new language and miss no opportunity to practice with our international volunteers!

We believe that this program is vital to the high-quality education we offer at Nuestro Futuro and El Porvenir. An intermediate level of English is required to pass into Guatemalan secondary and higher education. Also, our students live close to Antigua, a hotspot for international tourism. If our students speak English, they are much more likely to find good paying, stable jobs in town.

The program is supervised by our full-time English coordinator and taught by long-term, English-speaking volunteers. We are extremely fortunate to have several experienced teachers volunteering with us at the moment who are great assets to the program; both in terms of the lessons they give and their input into the curriculum.

We try to make the lessons as fun and interactive as possible. Most of our classes are separated into smaller groups for lessons, so the teacher can focus on the needs of individual students; or by having two teachers separate the students into groups doing different activities at the same time. We use songs and games to help student learn vocabulary that would be too advanced to teach in a more traditional way.  We also try to accommodate different types of learners in each lesson. This is done by incorporating visual, auditory and tactile activities in every lesson plan.

We believe in the importance of this program so much that English joined our core curriculum this year, and students will have their first period exams next week. The younger children will demonstrate their listening and speaking abilities whereas the top grades will also include reading and writing skills. Already, the youngest students can recognise colours, numbers and shapes; also most can participate in simple dialogues and role plays.

The vast majority of our teaching materials come from individual donations. We are very grateful for the generosity that brings them and inspired by how much they help our students learn a second language. We are always in need of more English-language posters, games, books, and activities. If you would like to help us purchase these materials, please make a donation today. We really appreciate your on-going support and look forward to sending you an update about the students’ progress later in the year.

Class practicing colors in English
Class practicing colors in English
Volunteer teaching English class
Volunteer teaching English class

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