Together, we ALMOST raised enough funds to support 8 youth in attaining a well-rounded education in 2016!
We are very excited, not only because we are close to reaching our goal, but because we started to welcome new individuals into our family. Becoming a participant at CasaSito is a rigorous process that begins with an application. We start our search for well-deserving young people by visiting different communities and schools in Sacatepéquez, Alta Verapaz, and El Quiché. We also announce over the radio! Once a student shows interest, they fill out a 4 page document, write an essay, receive a home visit, and - finally - are interviewed by the scholarship committee. The scholarships are awarded based on academic performance, youth’s motivation to get an education and succeed in life, parental support, and financial need. The scholars that meet or exceed CasaSito’s requirements are able to renew their scholarship.
We also just finished our debate club for 2015! This club is designed so that participants learn to build, defend, break down arguments and speak in public. They go through an intense 12 week preparation with one of the best lawyers in Antigua. This year’s debate club just ended! We are inspired! We saw our participants become open minded individuals who respect and aren’t afraid of other points of views. One of the hardest challenges they faced was debating for a stance that went against their own beliefs, and during the debate finals, everyone gave their best performance. The topics were: “Money is the way to measure success" and "Would it be worth it to kill a person who lives an indifferent and mediocre life if, for doing so, you would earn US$10,000,000 to invest in education, health, housing, and nutrition projects in the poorest communities of your country?" Each debate team had to prepare for four debates as they did not know if they would debate for or against the topics, until the day of the final. The rigorous debates proved Leonel Vásquez and José Portillo the winners of the Shelley Cup. Each one was awarded a brand new laptop! The finalist defended their assigned stance with passion backed up by analysis and research.
We are very proud of our young people! They are examples of perseverance and determination. Please keep tuned in as we tell you more about our activities and progress.
Thank you so much to our generous donors! We have now reached our funding goal for our 2011 Scholarship Program! We are able to give 82 students scholarships throughout the school year.
This year has been a very exciting year so far. We started a debate club for our high school and university scholarship students. The scholars have debated how to manage population control in Guatemala, how to diminish political corruption, and how to redesign Guatemala's educational system. They are learning research, budgeting, and public speaking skills. They students will participate in an elimination round on May 18th and a final round on June 1st.
We have also started organizing workshops on relevant social themes. In April, the students participated in a workshop called "How to Achieve Success". They discussed the importance of defining their goals and training themselves to achieve them. They also learned the importance of collaboration and how to solve problems in teams. Most importantly, they learned how to analyze their values so that they can make the right choices for themselves.
We hope that you continue checking in on this program and donate again later in the year to support our scholarship program for 2012! Thank you so much again for your support of and belief in our programs!
If you would like to donate again on Global Giving, please see our new project listing at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/fight-malnutrition-in-guatemala/.
On Sunday, January 16, 2011 eighty-two (82) scholars and their parents, mostly from rural areas around Guatemala, descended upon Antigua to celebrate their achievements and receive their first scholarship installment. The event began with a short presentation led by Lourdes González, Scholarship Coordinator, to explain student and parent expectations and responsibilities. After the presentation the students and their parents signed the contracts and received the first monthly installments.
After the signing of the contracts, CasaSito recognized its scholarship students and their families in a short program. Several scholars had the opportunity to share with the audience the impact the scholarship has had in their lives and the lives of their families. In a moving speech, José David Pérez, CasaSito scholar, encouraged his fellow scholars to work hard and do well in school so that Guatemala can be a better country for all.
CasaSito also announced the winners for the 2010 Entrepreneur Club business plan competition. Two student groups won microcredit loans to start their own small enterprises. One group started a recycling pick-up business and the other a chocolate bar business. CasaSito also announced the start of the 2011 Debate Club.
This was an exciting day for the families, CasaSito and all of its supporters. We celebrated the students’ triumphs as well as CasaSito’s continued endeavor to increase educational opportunities for indigenous children living in poverty. Thanks to donors like you who believe in our mission, CasaSito looks forward to continuing to help more people help themselves through education in 2011.