Change a Life, Educate a Child

by The GOD'S CHILD Project

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

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Dear Scheel Center Friend,

Thank you so much for your past support of our “second chance” school! Because of generous donors like you, low-income Guatemalan children have the opportunity to get the education they need in order to break the cycle of poverty that their family has lived in for generations.

Let me tell you the story of one of these young men that is currently living his second chance. José is 20 years old and is originally from the department of Jutiapa, Guatemala. His family moved from town to town throughout Guatemala in search of better work and educational opportunities until they finally decided to live in Antigua, Guatemala. José’s biological father left his wife and children to be with another woman and started a new family with her without a care for the children he left abandoned.

José’s mother also decided to re-marry and had two more children with her new husband, making a total of 5 children to take care of. After a few years José’s step-father began to drink and to physically and emotionally abuse his family. José was greatly affected by this change in his step-father and began to get into fights at school.

As soon as he came to the Scheel Center José began to receive the benefits of the program such as psychological therapy, legal support so that the step-father would no longer abuse them, as well as vegetables, clothes and shoes and, perhaps most importantly, an education.

This year José has shown great improvement. He has changed his attitude and gets along better with his family; he even helps his siblings with their homework. He is now in 7th grade and is thriving. His mother is also receiving psychological support and has joined the Mother’s Club so that she can receive benefits from Asociación Nuestros Ahijados. José is very thankful for the support and education that the Scheel Center gives him and he says that he wants to be a teacher when he grows up. He also says that he is happy that his family is no longer being abused.

José’s story is just one of many stories of Scheel Center students who are getting not only the education that they need but also the medical, dental, psychological and legal support that they need in order to break the chains of poverty. Once again, thank you for your support and for giving José, and others like him, hope for the future.

Sincerely,

 

Kendell Martell

Director of Benefactor Services

Asociación Nuestros Ahijados de Guatemala, ONG

She is from the department of Suchitepéquez, studies at the Scheel Center in 4th grade. She lives with her step-father, mother, and six siblings. Her father passed away a few years ago in a car accident while returning home.

Since then her mother maintains the family working as a day laborer or cleaning houses. They moved to the town of La Rinconada, Jocotenango where they are provided with housing  and the mother receives a salary to help on a plantation. Since moving her mother has dedicated herself to looking for help for her children so that they can study. Her siblings study in different schools but she was given the opportunity to study at the Scheel Center where she receives breakfast and lunch, medical and dental care among other things.

She has had psychological problems since the death of her father and she has not been able to overcome them so the project also helps her and the rest of her family with counseling regularly. Her mother also receives vegetables and her siblings sometimes receive clothes.

Thanks to the help of the God’s Child Project the life of the family is improving and she is overcoming the problems that affected her.

Estafany comes from a very low income family. Since she was little she has worked with her parents selling food at fairs around the country and was forced to always be on the move since the fairs never stay in one place for very long. Because of this she was unable to attend school with children her age. She and her family soon realized that she would need to get an education in order to have a brighter future. They looked for help from many institutions but were unable to receive assistance due to her age and her family’s lack of resources. In January of 2015 they came to the Scheel Center, part of the God’s Child Project, and she and two of her siblings were accepted into the program. She is now 15 years old and is in the first grade in the Scheel Center.

Currently Estefany receives all of the benefits that the God’s Child Project gives to its students: clothes, shoes, food and medical and dental care. The legal department is also giving support to the family since one time when Estefany was helping her parents sell food someone attempted to rape her. This person works selling food nearby and her father realized what was going on and came to the defense of his daughter and reported the incident to the police. The Project is giving them all the support necessary, especially psychological care for Estefany since the incident affected her emotionally.

Despite all of the problems that she has dealt with, Estefany is determined to finish her studies and is very happy with how her teachers and classmates treat her and is thankful for the support of her family. Her parents are also grateful for the God’s Child Project and the opportunity that it has given their children to grow and have a brighter future. 

The girl is 14 years old and has been attending classes at the Dreamer´s Center for three years. She has been a great help to her mother since they never had the help of a father. The family is made up of the mother, the girl´s brother and her. The mother works selling vegetables at the market in Chimaltenango. She doesn´t earn very much but it is enough for them to survive on.

Their living conditions are not very good since the house is built out of sheets of metal and has a dirt floor. There are only two beds in the house and they have to share them. The grandmother and a baby who was abandoned by one of the mother´s sisters also live with them.

Because of all of the problems the family faced both the girl and her little brother were accepted at the Dreamer´s Center School. The boy is in 5th grade and the girl just finished 6th grade with good grades. She will now receive help with her middle school education through our scholarship program.

The mother of the family is very thankful for the support that the God´s Child Project has given them during this time since the help has not just been for the children but for the family in general.

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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