On Jan. 13th, the Guatemalan Scholarship Team, Carmela Paz Bal and Emilsa Peren, met with the 2013 Kateri scholars in the first meeting of the new school year. Carmela and Emilsa oriented them for the year, assigned their sponsors, and began the new workshop series. The themes of the workshops for 2013 all relate to leadership and vocations in Guatemala. For the first meeting, they presented ideas about how a leader makes decisions. The young women also signed their committment statements for 2013.
Adela Surec and Aura Curruchiche joined the group this year. Aldea is in the 10th grade studying to be a bookkeeper. Aura is beginning junior high.
Adela finished elementary school in 2007 and was unable to continue her studies. She was needed at home. She dedicated herself to weaving and selling her products for a year. Her parents then encouraged her to return to school. She continued to weave to support herself and with the help of her parents finished junior high and her first year of high school. She comes highly recommended with an 86% average for 2012. She had the honor of carrying the flag in the Independence Day parade, an honor given to outstanding students.
Aura. left school after 5th grade. For six years, she worked to support herself and contribute to the family income. At 18 years old, she returned to finish elementary school. This year, she is continuing in junior high school. Although she is older than the other students, because of her enthusiasm and lively personality, she is able to fit in. She continues to work in a bakery to support herself and her education. She earned an average of 93% in 2012. She was overjoyed to receive a scholarship. It encourages her to continue and will mean she can dedicate herself more to her studies.
We would like to spread the word about these young women struggling to get an education. Pass this report onto your friends and family. Those who you think would be interested. One of them may be interested in investing in these young women.
Everything is possible with a little help from a friend!
As we reported in November, six young women graduated from our scholarship program ready to start work in their careers. Their challenge now is to find a job. Without experience they find this difficult. Work is scarce in Guatemala and so there is much competition for a few positions.
Carmela Paz Bal and Emilsa Peren, the scholarship staff, have plans ready to go to provide work experience for these and other young women. There are possible placements available. There are young women seeking this help. We are, however, still short of the minimum of $1000 to fund at least one young woman.
The young woman would receive a stipend of approximately $100 a month as she gains experience in her career. In the past, we have placed young women in a school setting where they worked in the office, with parents, and organized a library. Another young woman worked in the Kateri Fund office with our bookkeeper gaining experience in her career field. A third worked in an institution helping young children write letters to their sponsors in an aid program. All these young women used this experience to find jobs after their work experience was finished.
We would like to be able to restart this program and are putting all the donations we receive in a separate account until we can grow it to $1000 minimum. As you can see, as of this month, we have $253 toward the $1000. We have 2 recurring donations of $20 a month, so the fund is growing slowly. Please consider adding your donation so the fund can grow faster. Let your friends and family know about the project and ask them to contribute. A donations as small as $10 a month will keep the fund growing. Invest in these young women. They are willing workers, but need a little help from a friend!
The women of Chumanzana are busy with their organic gardens. They are very happy with the new skills that they have learned. They are using the skills they have learned to grow their own food. They report that this saves them money as they no longer need to buy all their vegetables. They also are receiving workshops in Health and Nutrition.
In November, they learned to prepare an extract from the leaves of an herb called “quilete”. It is one of the herbs that the women grow. It is a natural vitamin that can be used to combat malnutrition. One of the women is putting the extract into “atole”, a corn drink, for her baby that suffers from malnutrition. The baby loves the “atole” with the extract. Drinking it will help the baby grow strong.
The women in Santa Clara la Laguna have learned the steps for establishing a garden: how to take care of it, harvest it, and feed it. Through these lessons they have become interested in starting their garden. They feel it will help them economically as they won’t have to buy some things like cilantro and other herbs. It also will save them time. The vegetables and herbs will be available in their patio and they won’t have to go out to buy them
The women are very pleased with what they have learned with the help of the Fund. This organic gardening project in Santa Clara and Chumanzana is the project that your donation supports
The women have been eagerly working with me as the Kateri Fund representative and the promoters from ADEMI in Tecpan who are colaborating with us. All is moving along well. We plan to continue the project into the new year, but need to have it fully funded to proceed forward. Please ask your friends to invest in the education of these hard working women. Publicize their work on all your networks and talk about them with your friends. They need your support as they strive to better their lives.