So what have we been doing? Here’s a small snapshot:
• Our Organic School Garden Project has moved into three new primary schools, opening spaces for hundreds new students to learn about healthy eating and to harvest fruits and vegetables for school lunches.
• Sixty mothers and their children have accessed appropriate and dependable medical care at a local clinic.
• As part of our pilot Family Planning Champions Project, seven mothers have begun to provide teens and young mothers in their communities with information on family planning and sexual and reproductive health services.
• Our beekeeping cooperative successfully harvested 27 pounds of its very own honey, which it is now preparing to sell to customers both in Guatemala and in the United States.
• Nineteen students in our Education Scholarship Project have graduated primary school healthy and literate. In 2014, 169 students will continue their studies under the same project.
But it’s hard to capture our work in just a few statistics. The best moments are the ones we share with the students and families we’ve gotten to know so well over our time in their schools and communities.
Here’s what I mean:
Two weeks ago, after graduation at Chukmuk Primary School, Johanny, our Sponsorship Coordinator, asked our scholarship students for a picture. They grouped together just inside an overhang, clutching their diplomas and fidgeting as they waited for Johanny to get a clear shot.
“And just in that moment,” Johanny said, “I could see all six years of hard work collapsed into a few seconds. I visited these students at their homes every year they were in our program, every time they were at risk of failing a grade or a class, every time their parents thought about pulling them out of school and putting them to work.”
She smiled. “I feel like I took the journey with them. We did it together, and then, in that second, I could see exactly why it was all worth it.”