Representing 12% of our budget, one might wonder if this expense is worth the utilization of our monetary gifts. It is a very difficult decision as a board--do we feed more hungry children with our funds, or educate them so that they can someday feed themselves? At the core of this question is the perplexing issue of the quality of the rural Guatemalan schools our sponsored children attend. Education in Guatemala is significantly under-funded and the cost of supplies, uniforms, transportation and fees is not provided by the government.
Of the estimated two million children in Guatemala who are school aged but do not attend school, the majority are indigenous girls. With limited economic resources, parents often choose to educate their male children. Girls, no matter how young, are needed in the home to help with childcare, housework and field work.
The future of the next generation of females in Guatemala can't be secured by one little organization such as ours. But we can wish better things for Manuela (left, holding sister) who is not in our program, and we can continue to make sure that Marta (above,right)has what she needs to succeed in school.
The illiteracy rate in the indigenous rate in the indigenous population of Guatemala is over 60%. The highest level of schooling any mother in the Finding Freedom through Friendship program has achieved is third grade. We want a better future for their daughters.