Madelin is 13 years old and lives in El Parcelamiento Santa Fe in the municipality of Retalhuleu, on the South Coast of Guatemala. A community with an economy based on livestock production.
She is currently attending the first grade of basic education at her community’s school. She is responsible, thoughtful, cooperative, diligent and a born leader. Her peers follow her and admire her, her passion is sports and cooking.
Almost four years ago she joined FUNDAP’s Scholarships for Girls program, derived from the recommendation of her school’s principal, who saw a lot of potential in her because of difficulties to continue studying due to the scarce resources in her home. During this time Madelin attends all extracurricular lessons and demands more personalized advice than her colleagues in the area, she is eager to learn and overcome her difficulties in mathematics.
In addition to her studies and sports, Madelin helps her father take care of their bakery every day, the business has become the livelihood of the family that is composed of two parents and three children, the girl of this story being the oldest of the family. The family’s income is approximately Q1,800.00 (230.00 Euros per month), which makes it difficult for all to survive. However, they are a united and hardworking family whose dream is to own their own home someday.
Madelin's dream is to be a Chef, to have her own restaurant with hot oven baked bread made by her father.
Madelin's parents explain that these years with the scholarship for Madelin have been positive for the entire family, her mother tells us that before entering the project she was very strict in raising their children, but with the help of the project in which not only Madeline benefits but her whole family as well, she learned a lot about being patient, teaching values, raising the self-esteem of their children, being a source of permanent motivation for their children and above all being an example so that when they grow up having exemplary families as well.
Nataly has a delicate smile that conveys enthusiasm and joy. Despite the trials that she faces, she is appreciative and optimistic with each new day.
She is twelve years old and currently is in the sixth grade of elementary school in her community. She lives with her father, her grandmother, her stepmother and two brothers in the Agro-Community of Arizona in the municipality of Genoa, on the South Coast of Quetzaltenango, a small town located in the Pacific side of Guatemala.
Since 2014, Nataly has been assisted, along with other girls from the community, by FUNDAP’s Scholarship for girls project, with the purpose of ending school drop-outs and accompanying them in their educational path. The chances of leaving school two years ago were very high, as her father didn’t have a stable job and when he got work at a palm plantation he earned the equivalent of five Euros a day, which is not enough for him to care of his family. Her grandmother and stepmother wash other people's clothes to help with the expenses of the house and young Nataly has taken over the household chores to contribute to her family, every afternoon when she returns from school she cleans her humble home, washing clothes and helping to care for her two-year-old sister.
She tells that she does not remember her mother, who abandoned them when she was three, but that her father Eliazar has taught her to work and be responsible. Her dream is to be a teacher and to help many children who, like her, have difficulty continuing their studies.
The shyness that characterized her when she started in the project has diminished and now her teachers identify her as a leader and acknowledge that her self-esteem has improved very much. She has developed skills in communication, drawing and theater. To the question of what has been the most important aspect for her being in the project, she answers with a smile: "Now I dare to dream, I will be a teacher and I will change the history of many children"
FUNDAP’s Scholarship for Girls program has developed a comprehensive methodology to accompany highly vulnerable girls, including a monthly stipend for the girl to help with their study expenses, extracurricular lessons in the areas of communication and mathematics, personalized tutoring and educational-awareness for her and her family. The project accompanies them for six years, from the fourth grade of elementary school through high school, having verified by studies that is the period of greatest amount of school dropouts.
The opportunity that Nataly has had, as well as other girls from her community is the same that we want to bring to the municipality of Comitancillo San Marcos Guatemala, a municipality located in the Western Altiplano of Guatemala that has a territorial extension of 113 square kilometers and where it is estimated that out of each 10 families, 9 are poor and 4 of them live in extreme poverty.
Deymin is a determined, strong and tenacious girl, with the vitality of her twelve years shows a combination of maturity and innocence. She lives in a small community called Labor Mirasol in the municipality of Flores Costa Cuca on the south coast of Quetzaltenango Guatemala. It is located in the middle of rubber plantations and farms.
Three years ago her father died in a terrible accident, therefore she lives with her mother, a 14-year-old brother and her 7-year-old sister. She is currently in the sixth grade of elementary school and her biggest dream is to continue studying in order to work and to help her mother, who she admires deeply.
Her mother works washing other people's clothes and doing household chores in houses near her house. Their daily income is Q25.00 (approximately 3 dollars a day), income that is not enough to buy the basic food for a family that costs Q3,848.00 ($525) per month. This situation has forced her older brother to drop out of school and work as a "day laborer" on rubber plantations.
According to the reports of her teachers Deymin shows great performance, being willing and creative in all areas. Her interest in science is deep, showing a lot of inclination for knowledge and respect for nature and the environment.
FUNDAP's Scholarship for Girls program began to care for Deymin two years ago when she was about to leave school because of her father's death. During the personalized accompaniment of the first days a lot of fear and insecurity was identified on one hand caused by the mourning but also by the extreme deficiencies in her home.
She has been extremely participative and helpful in the extracurricular lessons that the program provides. She has taken on the responsibility of being a mentor to two other small girls in her community who find mathematics difficult.
Her dream is to help her community, she wants to study hard and find a "recipe" (as she expresses it) so that nature is not destroyed and everyone can have a plate of food on the table. Her hands are a little cracked by working in her house, task that she takes to help mother, but her eyes show hope and tremendous inner strength.
Education is a right, but in Guatemala there are many girls who still do not have that opportunity. FUNDAP wants to expand its activities by reaching 50 girls in high vulnerability who live in the municipality of Comitancillo San Marcos, where poverty levels reach 9 out of 10 families.
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