After more than 2 years of cancellations, delays, and change, daily life at Dorie’s Promise is transitioning into a hopeful new version of normal. Last month, Executive Director and Founder Heather Radu spent an extended stay on-site to assist with current programs, plan for future needs, and spend quality time with our children. Today, she’s sharing her Dorie’s Promise update.
Dorie’s Promise Today
I just returned from Guatemala enthusiastic and encouraged about the work our team is doing to support our children at Dorie’s Promise.
Currently, 17 children are being homeschooled at Dorie’s Promise with our psychologist Ana Maria directing a team of 5 teachers. I was astounded by the school’s organization and attention to the needs of each child. It became apparent through COVID that many of our children thrive in a homeschool setting. Hence, we made the move to create a permanent on-site homeschool.
Upon my arrival, I also immediately noticed our need for classroom space.
Our staff is phenomenal at making use of resources in surprising ways. Classes were meeting in dining rooms, converted offices, and whatever other spaces could be found. During my 3 week visit, we transformed four bedrooms in our office building into permanent classrooms for our kids.
I saw firsthand how excited both the kids and teachers were to have their own permanent classrooms with desks.
Planning for the Future
I am so proud of how well our whole Guatemalan team did over the last few years, not only managing COVID but also learning how to adapt to so many of our children entering their teen years. We learn and grow daily but I have no doubts that we will continue to provide our children with love and the opportunities they need to grow into amazing young men and women.
As we look ahead, our team is planning for the future needs of teenagers and young adults.
Transforming the bedrooms in our office building into classrooms was the first major step towards accommodating our growing children’s needs. This year, our team will be evaluating our programs, facilities, and staffing to help us expand and support our children even better.
Our most critical need currently is support for our annual education budget. You can give directly to our education budget by clicking this link. These funds cover our teacher salaries, homeschool supplies, and school fees.
In coming months, we plan to share details about more projects, including updates to our facilities. Thanks to a generous donation, we started a much-needed backyard renovation. Currently, a local landscape designer is helping us expand upon the initial renovation to create space for better entertaining and activities. Stay tuned for opportunities to update the homes for our children.
Exciting Moments with Our Children
After 26 months of virtual learning, our children who attend private school went back in-person during my visit as well! Lunches were packed and the van was loaded at 6:30 am to get these children back to their normal routine. Each day as they returned home from school, I got to see their smiling faces. They were so excited to return to school and reconnect with their teachers and friends.
One of the highlights of my trip was spending time with both the boys and girls.
As I now know, our children have lots of ideas about activities to add to their daily lives. The creativity amongst the children was fantastic. Ideas ranged from robotics, archery, and saxophone lessons to Mario saying with a very serious face he would like to learn to time travel. This had all the kids laughing and trying to explain to him that wouldn’t be an option.
We look forward to sharing our new activities over the next few months. Unfortunately, time travel is not on the list.
We are excited about what lies ahead this year and look forward to partnering with you. I started the transformation during my visit and now I’m asking you to join me. Please help us support our education program during the 2022 school year.