As a new school year dawns in Guatemala, children are flocking eagerly back to schools and classrooms. And, as always, along with a new school year comes a renewed need for school supplies.
But school supplies can get expensive, competing against food, clothing, medicine, and other necessities for a place in a family's budget. In a place where most people earn mere dollars a day, the high cost of these required tools for education often keeps students out of school.
In order to help keep kids in school, our sponsorship program provides the necessary school supplies for children who might otherwise lose the opportunity to gain an education. These supplies are delivered to the children in a reusable backpack, and include notebooks, pens and pencils, paper, folders, scissors, glue, and everything teachers require, thus preparing these students to succeed at school.
Now, with the school year approaching, it became once again time to deliver these supplies to students in need. From Panabaj and ChukMuk our sponsorship students came to the office to get their supplies. They arrived shy but excited, anxious to receive their backpacks full of goodies.
After Johanny, our Project Manager, said a few words to the mothers and children, Lidia, our Project Librarian, and Sandy, one of our Garden Educators, began calling students' names one by one. As students came forward to receive their bag, they signed their name or stamped their thumbprint if they couldn't write their name. Then they had to get their photo made for their ID card that provides them access to the free medical services the project provides.
Then, after these brief steps, they received their backpacks! After a final group photo, they were free to go, each mother more grateful than the next to see their children with the tools they need to prosper in the classroom. That alone, the kind words of grateful mothers, makes the work we do well worth it.