The GOD'S CHILD Project

The GOD'S CHILD Project mission is "to break the bitter chains of poverty through education and formation." While GOD'S CHILD is rooted in education, we aim to support the communities we serve at every level of development. Through our wide range of programs, we help children and families living in extreme poverty to meet their basic needs and find a restored sense of hope, self-worth and human dignity.
Dec 9, 2011

Everyone's Milestone

Scheel Graduation
Scheel Graduation

At the end of October, Scheel Center students, staff and volunteers gathered to celebrate our second graduating class. Six students completed their basico education (9th grade equivalent in the US education system). This is a huge accomplishment for any child in Guatemala, but especially for students who come from such disadvantaged backgrounds.

As each young man crossed the room to receive his diploma, everyone applauded loudly. They say that it takes a village to raise a child. We realize the truth of this statement during every graduation ceremony.

As each young man crossed the room to receive his diploma, we were all proud. Every teacher had contributed some way to his education. Every volunteer had watched him prepare for this moment. Every parent knew the odds against which he had fought to reach this milestone.

Part of our philosophy is to treat each student as our own child, to give them love and teach them rules as though they were our own. We hope that you share that philosophy and feel the same pride that we do. We hope that you choose to continue supporting future Scheel graduates with your financial contributions. 

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Dec 1, 2011

Young Philosophers

Meditation Class
Meditation Class

Scheel students have opportunities to learn about things that they normally would never be exposed to. By choosing to expand their horizons with these extracurricular courses, students gain critical thinking skills, build self-confidence and realize that education doesn’t just happen during the school day.

One example is our Integral Philosophy Program, taught by volunteers Mick and Deb. The philosophy course teaches young people how to think, not what to think. Students also learn mediation skills, to help them confront the harsh realities of life in a violent, extremely poor neighborhood.

Below are comments from the students’ final exams (translated from Spanish), in which 11 of the 12 students indicated that they wanted to keep taking the course in the evenings after they graduated.

 “If one does not reason well, one cannot expand one’s way of living. If one does not think, one cannot act with intelligence. I feel sad when I wake up and come back to the everyday hard state. What is sadness? Why do we lose our drive when we are sad? I never dreamed big before.”

“This course helps me to think in a different way than I, sadly, knew. It is like seeing a different world from different eyes.”

“When I arrive home, even though I don’t understand the class, I think about ideas that maybe can help me to go beyond all that I have thought before. I think about those who lived before Jesus, yet I come back to close myself in the same circle again. Why?”

“Meditation helps me get out of things that inhabit my mind. In mediation, I realize that there are more beliefs than we know and more to consider that never even crossed our minds. Meditation releases all the bad vibrations of the body and helps me think clearly.”

“Meditation is as if I am witnessing everything that is going on around me. Meditation is like wandering in nothingness, like your soul wasn’t here, like being in flight, like I have never been discovered, like I have found inner peace. All my soul was at peace and I keep doing it to wander in my mind and to go without direction in my own world.” 

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Dec 1, 2011

From Hell to Hope

Boy in Garbage Dump
Boy in Garbage Dump

Have you ever been to a garbage dump? 9-year-old Mario most certainly has. Before we rescued him, Mario spent most of his time working in one.

Your first time in a garbage dump in Guatemala is not something you’ll forget. Only one word seems strong enough to describe it accurately: hell. The unbearable smell that almost makes you sick; the vultures circling over the endless hills of trash. And amongst it all, frail, malnourished children sifting through waste, hoping to find something to eat, recycle or sell. 

Scavenging in a garbage dump is considered amongst the most dangerous forms of child labor. Fires constantly burn in these pits, creating a toxic smoke that hangs thick in the air and stings the eyes. Exploding chemical bottles echo throughout the dump. Children are even more vulnerable because they are generally unaccompanied or out of their parents’ sight. Beyond the obvious health dangers lies another set of stranger danger for children who are often picked from these locations to be raped or sold into prostitution.

Since he has entered ITEMP’s program, Mario’s life has radically changed. He has been check out by our doctor, regularly visits our psychologist and is now enrolled in school. Not so long ago, Mario spent his days sorting trash and fighting for survival. Today, his main challenge is to get better at reading before the new school year starts in January. At last Mario has the freedom to be a kid; to play, to rest and to go to school. Your donation gave Mario this liberty. Thank you.

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