Educate a Child, Change the World
his has been a year of growth for Education Project International. The projects in Mexico continue to evolve to meet the needs of the families across the border. New projects are underway in Guatemala and the Dominican Republic to help families in Latin America break the cycle of poverty through education and opportunity.MEXICO This is the second year that elementary and middle schools did not require registration fees from the students. We were able to put our money towards providing uniforms for more than 110 students. There were several groups in the community that provided backpacks and school supplies for hundreds of students. The biggest challenge is identifying those in need and assuring that those receiving thedonated goods are the neediest. We are making an effort to coordinate the various church groups that provide school supplies so that no one is overlooked. EPI has two tutoring projects reaching dozens of children. Our first project, which is in Anetsa Reforma near downtown Tijuana, continues to grow and reach the community. Alicia and Laura are amazing volunteers that began a small Saturdaytutoring program in 2009 and have grown it into a full-time, half-day kindergarten. They rent a three-room house and have gotten school supplies, including desks, chairs, books and toys donated. EPI has provided whiteboards, markers and school supplies along with backpacks. We have also purchased tarps to keep the rain out until the roof The Centro Educativo is the home of EPI’s can be fixed. tutoringproject and kindergarten in Anetsa They truly are Reforma. Dozens of children use this facility an amazing pair every week. of volunteers who do this work fulltime without any compensation. Their compassion for the children of their community is inspiring. They have registered dozens of children who had never attended school. Principals from local primary schools are now asking them to help tutorchildren that are severely behind in their studies. In Ojo de Agua, a parent at our first partner school has begun a tutoring program for children who attend Benito Juarez Primary school. Veronica and two of her colleagues each work with 10 students who need assistance with math and literacy. Veronica is currently working with a mother who is interested in starting a tutoring program at theprimary school in a neighboring community. One of the most exciting new developments is the formation of a board of pastors and community members in the colonia called El Niño. Ten of us met recently to discuss how we can develop a micro enterprise program to help lift families out of poverty. Teaching business skills along with providing small loans will help families to be self-sufficient and not haveto rely on others to pay for their children to attend school. Literacy classes are another need that will help adults who do not read and write. Without these skills, finding meaningful employment is nearly impossible. BELIZE Again this year EPI has funded two high school students. There is an alternative school in Dangriga with many needs. We have been in conversation and continue to explore howEPI can partner with them to help provide the best education possible for their students. GUATEMALA I visited San Rafael las Flores, about 6o miles east of the capital city, at the invitation of Herlindo Aquino, a friend who grew up in that small, rural town. We met teachers and principals along with
pastors and other community leaders. I had the opportunity to speak to more than 1000 peopleduring my week-long stay. The greatest needs are school supplies and shoes. Schools in Guatemala do not charge a registration fee and while they have uniforms for the schools, no one is refused if they cannot afford one. There are hundreds of students who are not currently attending school. Our goal for the upcoming school year, which begins in mid-January, is to provide school supplies and get...