A big hello from Guatemala,
In this report we'd like to tell you how we are using a part of your sponsorship to provide our sponsorsed families with comforts that go beyond just a full belly. Your support also gives a sense of peace and trust and now also place where all of the families can come and forget about the hash struggles of their daily lives for a while.
Another great improvement has been the opening of our own school. Not only did this allow us to have a place where we meet the families, and where they could find us, but also an oasis, a safe container for their children to learn, to play, to share and socialize, but a safe container in which to relax and in doing so, giving and receiving love.
Our new school, La Academia is managed and operated entirely by Guatemalans - with huge hearts -and it is also a haven for all our families. At our school, each of our 60 sponsored students are well fed with a healthy and varied diet, recieve tutorial classes and are getting the chance to love reading and playing together as a one big family. And all of the children of the families are welcome, whether they have sponsors or not.
Surprisingly, what we are beginning to find out is that the kids and the students are now more and more eager to learn, grow, and to prosper. Their curiosity is expanding and this is compelling us to make more and more new materials available to them. They are beginning to love wisdom, and that is just beautiful.
There is also a room just for the parents and grandparents. Once a month we invite the adults of each of our sponsored children to come to the school to enjoy the space, to get know each other, to share their difficulties at home, with work or with relatives. We give them workshops on health, empowering women, the importance of hygiene, diet, violence (whether it is verbal, physical, sexual, or any other kind), and we play together as a big family. And, they are really loving this!!
We also have psychological help available for staff, students, teachers, parents, and relatives. All of this together is creating a wonderful and inviting atmosphere that, as an outcome, is bringing more and more people to us who are asking to be a part of The Integral Heart Family.
In short. the new addition of our own space to the foundation, is building a brighter future for all of us.
A great big thanks to all of you who for depositing your trust and funding with us to make this happen. We wouldn’t be able to do it without you.
Ethics and morals form the basis of our values.
At the Integral Heart Foundation we think that although intellectual and academic achievements are important, they don’t have significant value if they don’t go hand in hand with moral development.
Our senior students are going through a 3-year full-time intellectual program, helping us in La Academia (our school in Guatemala) with the younger students in tutorial classes and they also participate and serve others in the community. In doing so, their hearts are expanding and so are their views and perspectives in life in regard to tolerance, other cultures, philosophies, ways of thinking and customs.
In the last three months theyhave also helped us with our families, not only at the school but also doing social visits with our social worker to the homes of our sponsored students. Seeing the homes of the little ones made them think a lot about what to expect of them when are in our classes and this is teaching htem to be more considerate.
The senior students have also visited a school in their own neighborhood, which they were not aware of, for deaf-mute children whose families have a humble background. Since that visit they have become interested in learning their language as they realized how difficult it was for them to communicate with their peers because they never thought about speaking with sign-language.
Our senior students are also volunteering in clinics that operate on Sundays by local charities specializing in animals, pets and street dogs; to neuter/spay animals who come from financially poor families or even directly from the street. They spend their Sunday’s helping to make these clinics happen.
We are so proud of these amazing students and all they can teach to the younger ones, not only with their own learning and experiences but also by example.
We think they are on a great path to make Guatemala a better place and they are the ones who are going to teach the younger generations how it can be done!
To all of you who are trusting us to make this happen, thank you so much, your heart and donations are making a big difference at all levels in this small community.
From the bottom of our hearts Thank You!
Wherever you are right now, whatever you're doing, please pause for a second, take a deep breath, and feel great about what your goodwill has accomplished!
Last winter and this spring, we shared with you a dream of creating a center in Guatemala where students with no opportunity to study could come and get a compelling education in a safe and loving environment.
Over 6 months, you and 160 others came forward, donated what you could and we opened the center, called La Academia.
Who is your donation helping?
There's Sandy, who used to sit malnourished on a dirt floor watching other kids going to school, wishing she had the chance. Now she does.
There's Carmen, who was a modern day slave, scavenging a dump for recyclables. She's in school now too and brings her 6-year old brother Byron to study.
And there are 58 other children whose inspiring stories begin with your generosity!
With our center open, we now look to the future to figure out our ongoing funding. We had faith we would find enough support to open the center, and trust that same generosity will keep us open. Our total operating expenses in 2016 will be around $30,000—our center only costs 500 Starbucks lattes per month to operate!
Please take a moment to consider your budget and see if there's an amount you would be comfortable contributing to help reach our 2016 funding need.
We are humbled to be able to do this work and eternally grateful to you for enabling it.
You are a hero for helping our "little heroes." Our heroes are our students themselves. Despite the poverty and neglect they were born into, they are overcoming long odds and succeeding. Today, they are safe and smiling because of your support.
Please help us close our funding gap for 2016. This really will mean the world to someone!