After years of legalities, form filling and jumping through hoops, we received the news that the “Pájaro de Fuego” school was finally granted official status. This new status has some big consequences; the students will be able to receive official qualifications in the school, rather than having to use valuable funds to send them to national school to receive their certificates. Phoenix, with some funds raised through the GVI Charitable Trust, now pays for 8 local teacher salaries, most of whom have come through the ranks on our projects over the years and all of whom we have helped through teaching college.
Towards the end of March 2012, all 240 children took their first official exams and with most of the grades coming through, we are seeing an incredible high average of marks from sciences, maths, Spanish, English and written Kaqchikel, which before, was unavailable. With the majority of children averaging over 80%, this puts them in the top 10% of Guatemalan schools. In Guatemala, only 70% of children finish Primary education (according to UNESCO data), with girls 8.4% less likely to finish that boys (SEGEPLAN). Of those children taking exams, 12.5% will fail the grade and have to retake the year, often leading to them dropping out altogether.
Thanks to the continuous presence of our volunteers we are able to run reinforcement lessons for those children who a falling behind, as well as teaching and assisting with the kinder kids, whose need for more attention is critical. It marks a watershed in history, slowly breaking the circle, whereby ex-students are employed to teach, moving one step closer to self-sustainability.
On 19th to 21st March, 15 challengers will be biking, hiking and kayaking around Lake Atitlán to raise money for our projects in Guatemala.
Recent reports showed that only an astounding 38% of children finish primary school in Guatemala. Our projects, which provides free education for over 600 children and support for further education can help these communities become more educated.
These charity challenges help to raise awareness as well as funds for the projects. This particular challenge will put funds towards food and fruit programs. Food is invaluable for these children who will be much better equipped to concentrate in class without being hungry.
We would like to share the most recent trustee report from the GVI Charitable Trust. This report covers the six month period from July to December 2011.
This has been by far the most successful period. In six months we have raised nearly as much as we did the whole previous year. This increase in funding has brought a corresponding increase in the impact we have been able to create on our programs around the world.
During this period we have invested in sustainable education across Latin America. This includes support for the elderly in Guatemala and income generation schemes to support education in Honduras and Ecuador. In Mexico we have worked with a community to establish a recycling centre and in Kenya our partners in Mombasa will now see impoverished students complete primary education to earn qualifications for the first time.
These are just a few highlights of an amazing, productive and rewarding six months. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and played a crucial role in these achievements.
We are delighted to share that GVI have just been announced winners of the best volunteer organization category at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to everyone who voted for and supported us.
GVI volunteers work on this project throughout the year making important hands on contributions to our work. The attached article explains some of the impact made on our project in Guatemala and elsewhere thanks to everyone’s hard work and support.
Scholarships for national school were recently distributed in the community of Santa Maria De Jesus, Guatemala.
Each year in addition to providing a free education for many of the communities poorest children in our own school we fund scholarships for national school where the students can earn their recognised qualifications.
Donations to this project help us to support these students and give them a chance to learn, thank you to everyone who has supported the project.
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