Approximately 10% of Costa Rican families live in extreme poverty. In San Ramon, the majority of these are parented by single mothers or guardians. Many of these women are non-documented Nicaraguan immigrants and therefore not eligible for government assistance to buy the school supplies, uniforms, and shoes necessary for their children to take advantage of the free public education system, Survey results indicate that 20% of these households have children aged 7-10 who are not in school.
This project will provide school supplies, uniforms, and shoes to up to 25 financially needy but academically motivated and successful children in San Ramon. Assistance is provided through vouchers (not cash) redeemable for approved school supplies and uniforms at partnering retail stores that offer discounted pricing. Satisfactory academic scores, attendance, and teacher's nomination are necessary for multi-year eligibility; the goal is to get these students to complete high school.
Education offers an opportunity for children to escape a lifetime of poverty, drugs, gang violence, and crime. Many of these single mother or abandoned families would not be able to keep their children in school without help. Rather than expand the number of students in the program, it is more important to provide continuing annual assistance until the students in the program can graduate high school, go to work, and begin to break the cycle of poverty within these families.
Community Action Alliance-Education Committee