The fifth year of our secondary school started up recently, a tremendous achievement for these tiny communities on the outskirts of Copán. When you think that these teenagers from four different communities would have no chance of further education, seeing over 100 of them involved is incredible. Funds raised pay for the teachers wages, so it isn't just education, though employment creation.
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.
On the Phoenix project in Honduras we have developed a new income generating initiative to secure Secondary education for students in the communities of San Rafael and Barbasco.
Project director Dom Williams explains: ‘After numerous meetings with the communities of San Rafael and Barbasco everyone is in agreement that is it a good idea and Plan Café has been given the green light to begin! Both communities have given a total of 2.5 hectares of land to the project and now Phoenix has bought roughly 12,000 small coffee plants to be planted on the land. The coffee, once the plants are mature in 2-3 years, will then be cut and sold, and the profit will go towards the secondary school to help pay teachers salaries year-on-year. All of this will help create a sustainable income for the school.
This initiative clearly demonstrates the long term vision we try to implement on our projects which enables communities to take the lead and provide and themselves provide the needs to secure continuation of the project.
In addition to ‘Plan Cafe’ donations to the GVI charitable Trust have helped to fund the food and fruit program in the school, bring in much needed educational materials, fund birthday celebrations four secondary teachers and the local dialect, Chorti teacher.
This project provides a sustainable secondary education for children in rural Indigenous communities in Honduras. Support for this project has helped us to bring in resources and secondary level teachers making it possible for children in the Copan area to earn their secondary education for the first time.
In addition we aim to empower local people through income generation and food security projects and encourage traditional culture.
Ch’orti’ is the local indigenous dialect in the area of Honduras where we work. As the language was being used less and less it was an area we wanted to focus on encouraging. Bringing the language back also brings back local culture and belonging which is extremely important in Latin indigenous societies.
Thanks to donations to the GVI Charitable Trust, we are able to pay the wages of a local Chórti´ teacher, thus providing an income and keeping this dwindling language alive. The community are 100% behind this initiative and it has grown to become a valuable part of the overall project.
Plan Semilla is the seed plan in Honduras which is another of our sustainable income generation initiatives whereby profits from work by community members will help to cover the costs of education for children.
Recently GVI staff, volunteers and community members worked together to plant maize and bean seeds to kick start the initiative.
As our GVI project manager explains ‘With help from the community we started planting maize and beans. That turned out to be the easy bit, however. The next day we started building a fence. If you have never done this before, let me tell you it is a lot of work. First you dig a very deep hole. Then you look for the biggest heaviest post you can find and put it in that hole. While refilling the hole you have to make sure the dirt is packed very tightly so the post won’t move. Repeat every 2 metres. Only then can you nail the fence to the post. We feel immensely proud of the work done this week. All the blisters and sore muscles were well worth it. We hope to fund the next phase of this project (coffee planting) with the proceeds from this harvest, which will help fund our secondary school.’
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