In Guatemala malnutrition is a big problem with 1 of every 2 children chronically malnourished. Lack of education, particularly for girls, coupled with high fertility rates keep families trapped in poverty. A proven way to break the cycle of poverty is to provide girls with education and opportunity. Women's education through ATC's "Teach Guatemalan Women Solar” workshops will provide young Guatemalan women with an education and the skills to become solar technicians.
How It Works:
This year we started teaching "Circuits and Solar" in Guatemala. Working with our Guatemalan staff and local teaching legend Michael Smith, we created a course that teaches students with basic math and reading skills about electricity, circuits and solar design. The class is a big hit with a waiting list but, only one young Guatemalan woman signed up. We asked why and found that while young women have a strong interest in technical subjects and even more interest in solar, they don't usually take technical classes with men.
Women’s technical education through ATC’s Circuits and Solar workshops will provide young Guatemalan women an understanding of the technology that fuels the 21st century while at the same time teaching critical technical skills that women need to become solar technicians. To support women learning and remove any fear of judgment, ATC’s Circuits and Solar workshops will be conducted by women who are trained in the curriculum, and who mentor rather than instruct students during the course of the workshop. Participants will interact and learn from one another in a friendly, informal hands-on environment. The all-women workshops offer a rare environment to learn about technology in a positive setting.
Worldwide we find much interest in sustainable solar power. Students are naturally curious about the new technology. In rural Latin America where there is no electricity, families light their homes with kerosene lamps and candles. The World Health Organization has determined that individuals breathing kerosene fumes and soot inhale the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. Solar lighting is less expensive than kerosene lighting. Selling small scale solar home lighting systems is a proven way to make a living in Guatemala.
The benefits of educating girls — to countries, to families and to girls themselves — are so substantial that some economists, including Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard University president and former director of President Obama’s National Economic Council, have stated that educating girls may be the single highest return investment available in the developing world. Educating girls not only stimulates economic growth, it improves the well-being of women and gives them more agency in their communities and countries. –
United States Embassy Website
Please check out our new Global Giving campaign at: http://goto.gg/10651 and help young Guatemalan women have a bright future.
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