Since early 2012 The Integral Heart Family School has been serving 75 children from 42 families from the villages near Antigua, Guatemala. At our school, we cultivate the love of learning. Our students are cognitively and emotionally stimulated through educational activities and games. In addition to helping children, this program empowers mothers to work in other jobs than in the fields, not only improving their financial situation, but also increasing self-worth.
Most children in Guatemala have no access to intellectual stimulation, spending their formative years on their mothers' backs as they pick coffee or firewood in the mountains, and often beginning their lives of menial labor at three or four years old. Guatemala has the lowest rate of child literacy in Central America, and it is estimated over 50% of the indigenous population is illiterate. Without access to nearby schools, many families are not able to educate their children.
This sponsorship program delivers a safe container for education, cleanliness, laughs, and love, as children are able to just be children while simultaneously being intellectually stimulated. While they are being taught the fundamentals of reading and writing, they also learn to appreciate the value of maintaining personal hygiene. While in our sponsorship program we take care of each child's nutrition, physical health and their emotional growth. We also make sure they have a lot of fun!
This program has the potential to shift our children's perception of education from complete unawareness to a profound and lasting love. This shift in perception will be multi-generational, as these children will pass on their love and respect for education to their children. The foundation's appreciation for culture and the educational advancement of children of such a young age will build in them a hunger for knowledge that will aid them in every stage of their development.
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