A huge thanks to you all for the success of this fundraiser for Angelita's tutor!
Angelita just passed the equivalent of her junior high-school level. In 2014 she will begin the next level of her education in the public system here in Guatemala. Thanks to the great response received to this GlobalGiving micro project she will have the extra help needed to overcome the issues she has had with some school topics and she will also gain a step in her self-esteem and self-confidence. This fundraising effort also gave her a great boost since she knew that we were all standing behind her desire to educate herself and not get caught in the trap so prevalent in Guatemala; that of getting pregnant at 15 or 16 and ending up living a life just like the past generations. With her schooling and tutoring she now has a chance to rise above this culturally conditioned norm.
Juan Carlos, who is in the final year of his training to be a certified Guatemalan high-school level teacher and who is one of the superstarts of our Critical-Thinking/Philosopphy program of the past 3 years will be her tutor. He, too, is very excited about the opportunity of teaching. He will be tutoring Angelita, and two other girls in need from our sponsorship program every Saturday (except holidays of course) in 2014.
They will begin in January and we already have a location in Antigua, donated by a local Spanish school, where the classes will occur. Because of your generosity we will be able to provide a location, teaching materials, meals for the teaching days and a salary for the tutor for 2014.
Thank you all for your donations and for empowering Angelita’s future.
A warm hello to you,
We have arrived at the end of another school year in Guatemala and with it the end of our Critical-Thinking/Philosophy program. It has been a great ride and as always the end of the year is a bitter sweet moment for all of us. We are very proud of our students for all of their growth and development they have shown but sad because we won’t be seeing them as often as usual until the middle of January.
In the CT module this year we focused mainly on ego, ego development, shadow, and managing ones emotional states, not entirely for personal benefit, but for the sake of the other person(s) with whom we are relating. The kids loved this class and in fact we had 6 new teenagers join, all brought in by referral from their friends!
Since the summer, Debora and Mick, the co-founders have been working on the translation of a book on philosophy written for one of our board members, Jeff Carreira. The book, “Philosophy Is Not a Luxury” became the holiday homework for our 32 students. They were very excited when we gave them the book and many of them began reading it right away in the class as we were assigning them the books.
One of the key areas by which we can measure the impact of this class is in the evidence for shifts in perspectives. In 2013 we challenged our students to write a one-page article titled ‘My Perfect Day’ and then to share that with the class the following week. Many, as you can expect where egocentric, personal experience based narratives. However, two of our student revealed to us by means of their story that their perspective had shifted quite dramatically. Here are their stories; Miquel who is 21, a 3rd year student of ours, who is also being sponsored by one of our donors to study for a career as a chef. As part of his practical work his class was invited to select an impoverished village to cook for and feed for a day. The village they selected was only reachable by horseback. Miquel described this experience of helping other people as ‘blissful’ and incorporated not only such an event as part of a homework exercise called ‘My Perfect Day’ but also the fact that he saw himself with a worldwide chain of self-sustaining and free restaurants for the poor.
Jenny, 16, is a first year student who was referred to our work from another school after she expressed an interest in learning about philosophy. Also as part of our homework exercise called ‘My Perfect Day’, Jenny, who wishes to study to be a nurse, expressed a wish to open medical clinic for the impoverished throughout the world.
We are also Facebook ‘friends’ with many of our students and a curious way we have found to seek progress is by the content of their posts. For instance, one of our superstar students (an individual who possess the potential and interest to become a junior teacher of this content) recently posted quote from The Little Prince (a course book) and additional quotes from the Greek philosophers and Descartes (his own research and reading). And finally, we are hosting two special events for our students in the month of December: one of them will be on the 4th and will be a lecture as part of our Wisdom Speakers Series. Amy Edelstein will be visiting us and giving a full day workshop on “Morals, Ethics, Spirit and Changing the World.” On December the 7th our students will also be participating in the event “Meditate to Educate” in which we will be meditating during a 12 hour period in order to raise funds to cover this education program.
Thank you so much for all your support of this project which we are all finding is of great importance for the world in which we live today.
We hope that this report finds you well in your late summer activities, whether you are enjoying the end of the summer season holidays or continuing on with daily life.
Here in Guatemala we are into the rainy season and thankfully it hasn't been quite mild so far. Though the rain is needed for crops, we are grateful that there haven't been any big storms which can affect our families.
As a supporter of our preschool/kinder program here on GlobalGiving, we would like to update you on some important happenings (and some specific news on Luis, Jimena & Chente in relation to these changes in this program). First of all, on behalf of the children, their families, the staff and Integral Heart Foundation, we are extremely grateful for your continued support of this program and the kids. As you will see from the photo below, there have been noticeable improvements not only in the interactions of the kids as a result of daily supervision and time with kids their own age, but also in their complexion and energy due to the regular care and nutrition they have been receiving. The change that is happening this year is that we are integrating the Kindergarten program kids into our Sponsorship Program. In preparation we are also looking at other preschools in the area as options for the parents to send their kids to, if they are willing. Under the supervision of our Program Director, Liz Flinn, we will be maintaining contact with the family of each sponsored child as we do with the other 50 adolescents and children in the Sponsorship Program.
At the second preschool/kinder location, which has been operating since 2011 within one of our partner non-profit locations in San Mateo, the kids there have been integrated into existing programs there and are attending on a daily basis. Again, we will be maintaining regular contact with the families of the individually sponsored children in San Mateo. As these children are set for now with daily care in the local programs, our help continues to be in the form of a monthly food basket, school materials, shoes and medicine as needed for each of their families And, as many of you will recall, the entire pre-school/Kindergarten program got started with Luisito, Jimena & Chente back in January of 2011 (you can read their story here http://www.integralheartfoundation.org/kindergarten.program.htm). They continue to live in their own house on their grandparent’s property. They are still attending that local project where they receive at least one meal and one snack per day. So, our direct involvement with them is now based on two things; food and lodging. We, thanks to your support, are able to buy them a monthly food basket and the grandmother, Julia, comes into town so we get a chance to visit with her and see how things are going. The last time we did this, she told us that the kids are doing well and they are always excited when she goes to get the food as she buys the food that they like :). We are also continuing to pay for adult supervision for them during the nights. Jimena & Chente's aunt stays with them in the night.
Thanks so much for your continued support of these three. As you have seen, they have come a long way in their interaction both with kids their own age as well as with adults. They have food, clothes, shelter and most importantly love, which is more than they had when we first met them. Thanks to your involvement we look forward to how they will continue to thrive and do better. Again we would like to say thanks for your continued support! We can't do what we do without you. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.
The IHF team.