2009 has started with a bang, with even more elderly relatives of new children in the school. We have just conducted Plan Fertilizante aswell, a form of micro-credit though with physical products, rather than cash, and one of the repayments is to provide items for the Old People. Roll on 2009 and thanks for your support.
During 2008 we have expanded our Plan Ancianos (Old People's Plan) to encompass twice as many members of the elderly generation in two communities in Guatemala. By the end of 2008 and into 2009, it is aimed to cover all the families that are currently enrolled in the GVI Phoenix schools in Guatemala. Each month, the basics are distributed to the families, in return for the participation of the children in the school - it is a two-way deal, the children must attend school for the relatives to be part of the Plan Ancianos. Also, to further involve the community, recipients of the "fertilizer scheme" earlier in the year had to put some items into the Plan Ancianos, so everybody has a responsibilty.
Thank you all for your donations and especially Tilly Lavenas with her matching fund. This only lasts for a couple more weeks, so if anyone is nearly there, a donation now will be doubled!
This scheme has gone incredibly well in 2007, with almost 100 elderly receiving the basic foods every three months, which include rice, beans, oils, pastas, soaps, sugar, salt etc. We are seeing some differences with the children too, which we hoped, whereby the children can now receive the food that may have gone to the old people within the family. During next year, we are introducing a chicken scheme, where each family will receive two egg-laying chickens, with the deal being that they must provide into the Old People's Plan, eggs and a chicken over the course of the year, to make it more sustainable.
The second Plan Ancianos has gone ahead with direct funding from two of GVI’s ex-volunteers. Without this help, many of the elderly have no one to look after them. In Guatemala, so many of the elderly are women who have lost their husbands and sons to war and find it difficult to keep going on their own. As well as direct aid with food and clothing etc. we are helping to educate the younger people and close the generation gap a little. With your help we can do so much more.
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