Change a Life, Educate a Child

by The GOD'S CHILD Project
Vetted
Our 9th grade graduates show off their diplomas
Our 9th grade graduates show off their diplomas

This October we celebrated the graduation of 19 underprivileged youth who finished junior high and 14 who finished 6th grade at the Scheel Center! This is a huge accomplishment for any child in Guatemala, but especially for students who come from such disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of our students began working at a very young age and didn’t have the opportunity to go to school until much later than their peers. These young men and women have seen first-hand that without an education there are very few job opportunities that will allow them to provide for their families which is a great motivator for them to continue their studies.

Once our students graduate from the Scheel Center they are given a scholarship to continue studying at a local school which helps them pay for school fees, uniforms, and school supplies and many of our graduates take advantage of this opportunity to further their education and reach their goals of becoming a professional. Dariana is one example of a Scheel Center graduate who continues to fight against all odds to further her education.

Dariana continues her education after graduating from the Scheel Center

Dariana is 20 years old and graduated from 9th grade at the Scheel Center last year. Dariana was born without hands and her feet were also not properly formed which causes pain when she walks. Dariana may have a physical disability but that hasn’t stopped her from going to school or dreaming big.

Dariana's father abandoned the family and left her mother to care for her 3 daughters on her own. Finding it hard to make ends meet, Dariana's mother sent her to Antigua to beg for money on the streets when she was just 6 years old. Between begging on the streets and selling candy and gum on the bus-ride home she brought home about Q100 ($13) a day. Her mother saw this as a much better option than sending her to school so Dariana spent 4 years begging and selling candy on the streets of Antigua before she made the decision to go to school at the age of 10. She quickly realized that she could be like all the other little girls and that her disability didn't have to keep her from attending school.

Dariana began 7th grade at the Scheel Center in 2013 and excelled in areas like drawing and painting and also worked well with her classmates and earned excellent grades. She went on to graduate from the Scheel Center last year and just finished her first year of high school where she is studying accounting and where she is, once again, at the top of her class. Dariana hopes to go on to college so that she can become a professional someday. We are proud of the young lady that she has become and are looking forward seeing her continue to grow academically and professionally in the years to come. 

Thanks to donors like you we are able to provide education and hope to many underprivileged youth like Dariana each year. If you feel moved by this update to donate we encourage you to do so on #GivingTuesday starting November 29th at 12:01AM EST when all donations made on GlobalGiving will receive a 50% match and any new recurring donations will receive a 200% match making your donation go even further to help break the bitter chains of poverty through education and formation.

 

Dariana working on a project at the Scheel Center
Dariana working on a project at the Scheel Center

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Roberto is 9 years old and started his first year of school this January at the Scheel Center. Roberto was unable to start school at an earlier age because his family couldn't afford it. From a very young age Roberto would go to work with is father since his family is quite large. His father works hard to support his family however he doesn't have a steady job and instead takes whatever work he can find making it difficult to provide for his family's basic needs. Roberto's mother has some mental health issues due to problems with an ex-boyfriend and has made several suicide attempts.

Despite his tough family life and starting school at an older age, Roberto is a very good students and consistently attends class. He studies hard because he would like to be a psychologist when he grows up so he can help people with mental health issues. Roberto not only receives an education at the Scheel Center but also gets breakfast and lunch and sees our psychologist, which are benefits available for all students of the Scheel Center. Roberto is off to a good start towards a brighter future and we are looking forward to seeing how he grows over his years at the Scheel Center.

Thanks to your donations we are able to give children like Roberto the education they need to get a decent paying job and support their families. Not only that, we are also provide them with free services to meet their immediate needs like medical, dental and psychological care, legal services, two meals a day and clothes and shoes.

Please consider continuing your support of education by making another donation or sharing this story with your friends and family.

Thank you for your continued support of the Scheel Center!

 

Rina Lazo

Director of Donations

Links:

The psychologist working in a small group.
The psychologist working in a small group.

Dear supporters and friends of The GOD'S CHILD Project,

Thank you very much for your continued support and prayers for the children here in Guatemala. Without the constant support of individuals like you we would not be able to help change the lives of children who were once abused, neglected, abandoned, orphaned, or living on the streets of Guatemala, like Susan.

Susan is a 10 year old girl who is currently living with her grandmother in Jocotenango, close to our Scheel Center Technical School where she is proud to say she is studying in the 3rd grade. She has been fortunate to have a loving grandmother, who stepped in and took legal action against her parents, when she found out that Susan and her siblings were being physically and verbally abused by their parents. 

Susan´s parents suffer from alcoholism, psychological problems, and are unable to hold down employment, making their home life very volatile. Ana, Susan´s grandmother, was able to rescue the four children and has protected them legally from their parents through the help of The GOD´S CHILD Project. 

As members of our project the grandmother and the four children are receiving psychological care, legal counsel, education, access to the Mother´s Club, medical treatment, food, and support. 

Despite Susan´s painful history and current challenges she loves to study and likes to help her grandmother with household chores. As she is the youngest child, she is responsible for helping around the house and studying hard to do well in school.  

Her grandmother and the staff at The GOD’ S CHILD Project are all very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to seeing how quickly she is able to reach her goals throughout her educational endeavors. Her grandmother said with a huge smile, “though it has been difficult for her and her siblings, I am so happy to see how far Susan has come. It has been hard for all of us, but due to the help of The GOD’S CHILD Project we are able to see a brighter future for all the children, and are very grateful for all of the support we are receiving especially for her education.”

Please help us continue to support Susan and the other children like her at the Scheel Center. Your generous contribution today will provide the continued education for the once abandoned children. Also, please consider sharing this story of Susan and how she is overcoming some of life’s greatest challenges and looks to the future with great enthusiasm.  As each child grows, learns, and sees that their dreams are possible we are breaking the chains of poverty, one child at a time.

Many blessings to you and yours,

 

Melissa Schroden

Director of Special Opportunities and Donations

melissa.schroden@anaguatemala.org

Links:

Pedro is very excited to show you his artwork!
Pedro is very excited to show you his artwork!

Dear Scheel Center Friends and Supporters,

Thank you so much for your past support of our “second chance” school! Because of generous donors like you, low-income Guatemalan children and families have the opportunity to leave dangerous life situations behind, and begin to dream of better tomorrows.

Let me tell you about one such child, Pedro, and how your support and the work of The GOD’S CHILD Project has helped him and his family take giant steps forward. Pedro lives in a remote area of Old Guatemala known as San Juan Alotenango located 20 kilometers from the Scheel Center.  Pedro has three brothers and they are all being taken care of by their grandmother Maria, who is now 78 years old.

As a young child Pedro and his brothers were abandoned by their mother and father, which has left deep scars and has created some social/educational delays in all four children.  Their relationship with their grandmother, however, is very strong.  Their family is very close and has a strong bond of love, respect and affection.

Due to his parent’s abandonment and living in poverty Pedro has suffered from gastrointestinal, respiratory, and psychological problems which were compounded by poor hygiene due to his previous home environment.  However, since being a part of The GOD’S CHILD Project his family has received a home built by a service team in 2010 which has greatly improved his health.

Before Pedro started studying at the Scheel Center, he could only dream of attending school. He had never used a pen or drawn with crayons and his only games or pastimes were to be with his pets running around the house. In his home there are currently 2 dogs, 4 ducks, and pigeons.

In 2010 his family received a visit by The GOD’S CHILD Project and was invited to study at the Scheel Center. Since he had not attended school before this was a huge responsibility and challenge for him and his grandmother, but it was so exciting when he was able to learn his first letters and numbers with the other students. He has been very proud of his accomplishments and always says “someday I am going to teach other children like myself how to read and write too.” This kind of motivation is key to his success and is important for other children to see.  Pedro is very happy to attend classes at the Scheel Center. He especially enjoys sharing with his friends and studying natural sciences, which is his favorite class.

Today Pedro enjoys reading and drawing, is punctual, responsible and excels with working as a team member. He also likes weaving traditional Guatemalan clothing garments.  He dreams of being a teacher and working with children like himself, being on a soccer team, and he would like to go and see a movie in the capital city some day.

Please join us in supporting Pedro as he continues to heal along with other children like him, recovering from abandonment and poverty. Every child we provide with an education helps us move towards breaking the bitter chains of poverty for their families, giving them hope for a brighter future. 

 

Blessings,

 

Melissa Schroden
Director of Special Opportunities and Donations
melissa.schroden@anaguatemala.org
The GOD’S CHILD Project | ITEMP (Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons)
“Breaking the chains of poverty through education and formation”
Guatemala | El Salvador | Malawi | India | United States
Pedro is always eager to learn anything new.
Pedro is always eager to learn anything new.

Links:

Dear Sheel Center Friends and Supporters,

Thank you so much for your past support of our “second chance” school! Because of generous donors like you, low-income Guatemalan children and families have the opportunity to leave dangerous life situations behind, and begin to dream of better tomorrows- away from past dangers and abusers. 

Let me tell you the story of one of the little girls that is recovering from abuse with us. Sara is an eleven years old girl who currently lives in Antigua, Guatemala with her mother and two older siblings. She is enrolled in second grade, at the Scheel Technical Center School.

Due to her family’s level of poverty, she is supported by our sponsorship program, her education is provided by the Scheel Center, and her medical and psychological care is provided at our clinic. Her family also participates in our vegetable drive and receives care at our family clinic.

Sara’s story is shocking. On one occasion, her parents had no money to pay the rent where they lived, so the landlord convinced her father to give him one night with Sara’s older sister to exonerate the rent that was due. Her father agreed to the arrangements, keeping it a secret from the girl’s mother. A few months later, the family again fell short and didn’t have the money to pay for rent. However, this time the landlord wanted to be with Sara, who was only ten years old at the time.

Sara, after suffering from sexual abuse by the landlord, decided to tell her mother even though she had been threatened by the father and the landlord. Her mother sought legal help at The GOD’S CHILD Project, where she received an aid grant, in addition to immediately enrolling Sara into the project where she could begin the healing process. The GOD’S CHILD Project proceeded to press charges against both the landlord for raping Sara and her sister, and the father, who acted as an accomplice to these acts.

This year was very difficult for Sara and her family, as they began the recovery process. Sara’s father has run away and is being sought by the authorities; however, the landlord who sexually abused the girls is imprisoned. Sara has decided to continue her education, and with help from the project, she is trying to overcome these traumatizing events. She is happy to say that she has passed the second grade and is excited for the new school year to begin again in January. Sara and our staff are hopeful that with The GOD’S CHILD Project’s continued support she will eventually overcome the trauma of what happened, and her mother will once again be able to carry her family into the future with pride.

Sara’s mother says “I am very thankful for the support that my family has received from The GOD’S CHILD Project and I recognize the positive changes in Sara since she has been receiving psychological care, support, and an education again.” She is thankful that these services are available to her family because they have helped them to begin recovering as a family, and is thrilled to see such success and willingness to dream again from Sara.

Please join us in supporting Sara as she continues to heal along with other children like her, recovering from sexual abuse and poverty. Every child we provide with an education helps us move towards breaking the bitter chains of poverty for their families, giving them hope for a brighter future. 

 

Blessings,

 

Melissa Schroden

Special Opportunities Coordinator
The GOD’S CHILD Project | ITEMP (Institute for Trafficked, Exploited & Missing Persons)
“Breaking the chains of poverty through education and formation”
Guatemala | El Salvador | Malawi | India | United States

Links:

 

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Organization Information

The GOD'S CHILD Project

Location: Bismarck, ND - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.godschild.org
Project Leader:
Jose Roberto Arevalo
La Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

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