Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala

by The Education for the Children Foundation (EFTC)
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Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Help Feed and Support 650 Students in Guatemala
Our Socially-Distanced, COVID-Safe Bowery Roofs!
Our Socially-Distanced, COVID-Safe Bowery Roofs!

The School of Hope in Guatemala continues to be successful even with the challenges that COVID-19 continues to present. Our teachers and support staff at the school have worked hard to provide our students with worksheet packets and online support (when possible) to ensure our students at the school as well as our scholarship students are making good progress in their educations. 

We have also continued the hard work of making sure that our students and their families are supported at home with food, cleaning supplies, psychological support and medical care as they need it. This has been time-consuming and expensive, but it has also been incredibly rewarding for the staff and families. If there is a silver lining apparent in the pandemic, it might just be the way the sense of community among our families and staff as deepened and stregthened over the last year. I sincerely hope you feel and understand what an important part of our community you are as a donor and supporter - everything we are able to do for our students in Guatemala is because of you and your support. 

One of the most exciting recent developments at The School of Hope is the completion of various bowery-like roofs that we constructed in the school's courtyards. These bowrys will allow us to hold classes outside, meaning we'll be able to bring more students back to the school in the near future.  Rain or shine, our students will be able to attend classes with their teachers and classmates in a safe, socially-distanced way.  We are proud of the work the school staff did to get these boweries constructed and painted, and can't wait to see our students together again with their teachers, working hard on their lessons!

Again, let me close with thanking you for all of your continued support. We are able to do what we do because you do what you do. Thank you for being a part of the EFTC family, and never hesitate to reach out with questions, comments, or suggestions. 

Our Socially-Distanced, COVID-Safe Bowery Roofs!
Our Socially-Distanced, COVID-Safe Bowery Roofs!
Our Socially-Distanced, COVID-Safe Bowery Roofs!
Our Socially-Distanced, COVID-Safe Bowery Roofs!

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Supplies and Lessons Ready for Our Students!
Supplies and Lessons Ready for Our Students!

Greetings from Education for the Children and the School of Hope in Jocotenango, Guatemala! All of us hope you are safe and healthy, and that you're looking forward to a unique but special holiday season. 

At the School of Hope in Guatemala, our team continues to work hard to support our students and their families during what are, needless to say, challenging circumstances.  It is because of you and your generosity that the team has been able to continue delivering necessary food and cleaning supplies to the homes of our students. Because the vast majority of the economy in Guatemala is informal, most of our students' families have been unable to earn their livelihoods as they used to do as day laborers, street vendors, and other similar "informal" workers due to coronavirus restrictions.  Like most of the rest of the world, Guatemalans have been working hard to figure out how to be successful, healthy, and safe while balancing their need to work and study. We are humbled and grateful that we have been able to be such a major force of support for our families as they do this - all thanks to your generosity. 

We are also looking forward to graduation during the last full week of November.  Our graduating 9th grade ("tercer básico) students have overcome major obstacles simply to make it to this point in their education; when we then consider the obstacles they have vanquished just during this past year, we couldn't be prouder of them! They have put in a decade's worth of hard work at the School of Hope, and didn't let a global pandemic, major economic downturn, or distance learning from home (often with weak, spotty, or non-existant Internet access) keep them from being successful. I hope you'll make sure to check out EFTC's social media posts over the next couple of weeks as we celebrate these inspiring and hardworking students!

Finally, let me update you on the school building itself. We've been able to open the school back up to staff and teachers, just at lower numbers than is typical for us. This means we have staff and teachers coming into the school on rotating schedules.  They're meeting with small numbers of students, having important meetings to plan the 2021 school year (no easy task with the uncertainty regarding the pandemic!), and ensuring the building itself is cleaned and cared for. We're currently putting together a major campaign to raise the funds to replace the roof of the building - a much-needed repair job that I hope you'll consider supporting when the time comes.

All of us at EFTC and the School of Hope want to thank you for your continued support and generosity. The work the team at the School does has been nothing short of miraculous this year, and despite the unique challenges we're currently facing, we're all optimistic and excited for the future of the School and our students!

So. Many. Eggs!
So. Many. Eggs!
School Lessons Ready for Our Students to Take Home
School Lessons Ready for Our Students to Take Home
Our Amazing Staff Enjoying Elote on Pickup Day
Our Amazing Staff Enjoying Elote on Pickup Day

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Eggs and Information!
Eggs and Information!

We continue to work hard to support our students and their families throughout the COVID pandemic. During the first week of July, our amazing staff at The School of Hope in Guatemala - directed by the incomparable school director, Sara Miller - gave out more than 375 hampers of food to our students and their families. These hampers contain beans, rice, eggs, Incaparina (a high-quality, high-protein vegetable-based type of hot cereal), flour, sugar, pasta, powdered milk, corn flakes, cooking oil, bouillon, coffee, other food staples, and cleaning products. The school staff spent more than 12 hours over two days to ensure all of our families received the food they needed.  This is vital, as much of our students and their families rely on the informal economy in Guatemala to support themselves, and the restrictions in place because of COVID has severely affected their ability to earn money to purchase food and other necessary items. 

The school is still closed for classes, but we are slowly opening up for a few select activities in a very careful and intentional way, and always observing social distancing and public health guidelines. In keeping with our desire that all of our students and families remain healthy, we provided fliers with updated medical advice about the virus, as well as information about how to stop the spread of the virus in their homes just in case someone in the family becomes ill. 

The credit for all of this Herculean work goes to the teachers and staff at the school in Jocotenango. All of us at EFTC are incredibly proud of the work they are doing at the school to ensure our students and families stay safe and healthy, and that our students are able to progress in their school work. While our team at the school is working hard to deliver the support our students need, none of this would happen without our team of donors and supporters - and that includes you! We recognize things are tight for everyone right now - but even just a few dollars can go such a long way to buying the food and supplies our students and their families need right now. Please consider making a donation to help us continue this important work. 

Receiving Cleaning Supplies
Receiving Cleaning Supplies
Waiting in Line, Socially Distanced!
Waiting in Line, Socially Distanced!

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Preparing Work Packets For Students
Preparing Work Packets For Students

First, let me say that we hope all of our supporters are staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times. Please, take care of yourselves and your families! 

At The School of Hope in Guatemala, we have had to move to remote learning because of the current COVID-19 pandemic.  While Guatemala has not been hit as hard as other areas of the world, there are confirmed cases in the country, and the government is taking appropriate (though difficult) measures to contain the spread of the virus and protect the health of as many Guatemalans as possible. One of those precautionary measures was closing all schools for 3-4 weeks.  This means The School of Hope will be closed until at least the Monday after Semana Santa (which is always a week-long school vacation for us). 

Our amazing School Director, Sara Miller, had already devised a plan for just such an occurrence, and so we were well prepared and organized when the school was directed to close. Our wonderful staff and teachers jumped into action, preparing take-home work packets for each student and a hamper of basic supplies for each family.  Just this past week, each family came by the school to collect their food hampers, and some of our staff made the rounds, delivering the work packets to each child. 

Our staff and teachers are now all working from home - and trust me...they're working!  All of them have jumped into developing and improving lesson plans, career counseling materials, and even sewing new mops to keep the school clean. It is an understatement to say we have a wonderful staff - the team at The School of Hope is unmatched!

Of course, these issues are going to have some financial consequences.  We're still paying the full salaries of all our employees, and paying the scholarships that our further education students require.  We're doing what we can to make sure all of our families have the food and healthcare they need, and our awesome social services team continues to monitor and provide support to our students and families who need it. We are, quite literally, all in this together! 

If you have the ability to donate right now to ensure that we can continue to support our students and their families, that would be amazing. We understand that things are a bit scary and uncertain for all of us right now – but any little bit helps and will go a long way in Guatemala!

Food Hampers Ready For Our Families
Food Hampers Ready For Our Families
Our Dedicated Staff Are Hard At Work
Our Dedicated Staff Are Hard At Work
Work Packets Ready To Be Delivered To Students
Work Packets Ready To Be Delivered To Students

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Our students, teachers, and staff are currently on a short summer break - the new school year will begin in mid-January.  This break gives us a chance to pause and consider the amazing things our students and their families have accomplished during the 2019 school year as well as to look forward to the awesome plans we have for the 2020 school year. 

In October, we celebrated the graduation of our 9th graders! This is always a bittersweet ceremony.  We're so proud of these students, who against huge odds have accomplished something that for many of them would have been impossible without your generosity - their sponsors and our great supporters. We'll miss them and their happy energy in the school next year, but we know they're on to big and exciting things and they'll always be a part of the EFTC family. Many of them will continue studying in local high schools, and we'll continue to support them with financial scholarships, career counseling, technological needs, and lots of love and excitement. 

We are looking forward to a new class of "prepa" students joining us for the 2020 school year.  These adorable, energetic, and happy little kindergartners bring immense optimism, hope, and joy into the school. They're wide-eyed, maybe a little nervous, and definitely very excited to start their educations with EFTC - and we're just as excited to be along to support them on their journey!

This time of year is always a busy one for EFTC. We're preparing lesson plans, working out the final details of our budget, decorating classrooms, and trying to grab a few minutes of rest and relaxation before the wonderful and exhilarating controlled chaos of a new school year begins.  We are so glad and grateful that you've decided to join us in this work and support our mission.  It's only because of the generosity of you, our supporters, that these amazing students are able to work with their families to break the cycle of poverty in their communities. Thank you for what you've done in the past to help, and we hope you'll continue to support us for the 2020 school year and beyond!

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Organization Information

The Education for the Children Foundation (EFTC)

Location: Walnut Creek, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @eftcfoundation
Project Leader:
Brien Ashdown
Executive Director
Walnut Creek, CA United States
$39,463 raised of $95,000 goal
 
165 donations
$55,537 to go
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