Do you remember what
happens when you give a mouse a cookie?* It leads to milk, napkins, a haircut
and a clean house. The simple act of giving a kid a pencil can also
lead to a string of unexpected and wonderful consequences.
With a pencil a child
can take notes in class, complete homework, and draw beautiful pictures or lazy
doodles. In Guatemala, many children do not have access to even the most basic
school supplies. Although education is free in Guatemala through the
sixth grade, before the start of school each year children receive a list of
supplies they need in order to participate in class. Purchasing school
supplies, even a box of pencils, is an enormous investment, especially in the
department of Sololá where many families live on less than $2.00 / day.
Sololá is a
department located in the southwestern region of Guatemala. It is very
well-known for its cultural heritage and for being home to Lake Atitlán,
considered one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. Unfortunately,
Sololá is also known for a high rate of impoverished children and a high rate
of school drop-outs.
Hogar de Niños
Fátima, is a model home for children that provides holistic care. The
headquarters are located in Guatemala City and an expansion project is planned
for Sololá. With our campaign, “If you give a kid a pencil” we are hoping to
transform the Sololá location into the base for a network that helps children
within their communities to increase health measures and reduce school dropout
*If you don’t
remember, we recommend reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by
Why does it matter?
In the Southwestern
region of the country eight out of every ten children abandon their education
in elementary school in order to work or to migrate exposing themselves to
exploitation and losing the opportunity to study during their childhood.
With your help we can encourage our children to complete their education
and develop their communities.
If you provide a
child with a pencil, you give them a chance to study. A child who
can complete their education and graduate has better job opportunities. Better
job opportunities reduce the need to migrate. When a child can stay
in their home, the talent and skills they bring help to develop the town. A
developing town attracts more support, and better teachers who can continue to
support the next generation and keep the cycle going.
How can you help?
Our goal for this
summer is to raise enough money to provide school supplies to all 300 children
in elementary school and high school in the town where Hogar de Niños Fátima’s
new home will be located.
In July every donation of $10.00 helps to sponsor a child and allows her
to complete her education and gives her the option to remain in her community.
$10.00 provides a
child with notebooks, pencils, erasers, and glue. If we pass our goal we will
choose another school to support and bring school supplies to more
Join us and share in
our mission. Your support is vital to achieving our goal and if you know more
people who can help us achieve our goal, share our project and follow us on
does Hogar de Niños Fátima do?
Hogar de Niños Fátima
(Fátima’s Children’s Home) was founded in 2002 and for over sixteen years we have
provided a home to some of Guatemala’s most vulnerable infants and children.
The children in our care have been abused or abandoned or are victims of family
disintegration. Our primary mission is to provide our children with
love and support in a family setting. We provide shelter, health
care, education, nutrition, legal assistance, and psychological support to the
children in our care.
We have space for 45
children and although we only accept new placements up to the age of 7, if a
child has already been placed with us and continues to need a place to live,
they remain part of our family until the court or the child decides to
leave. Our home is built and staffed to provide children of all ages
with high levels of specialized care and attention. Many of the children we
receive are malnourished and have suffered physical abuse and psychological
trauma. We provide all our children with basic necessities, pediatric care,
psychological support, and the love of a family.
All of our children
who are of school age attend local schools and receive additional instruction
at the Home from our full-time teacher. During the school day the teacher helps
plan and run activities for the pre-school age children and in the afternoon
works as a tutor for the older children.
In addition to
providing a loving home for the children in our care, we have begun to expand
our services to reach vulnerable children while they are still living with
their families. We provide basic food baskets and school supplies to help
support children and their education.
Tim and Rose Weir
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