By Pablo Villagran-
Like children across the world, ours are excited about the beginning of a new school year. But this year we are celebrating something more: an increase in scholarships that allowed 11 of our students to enroll at El Shaddai in January.
Three residents on scholarship this year—Jennifer, Amelia and Anita—will again attend the private Christian school in 2013, along with eight new pupils from Dorie’s Promise.
“We are blessed!” says Director Alejandra Diaz. “Some years ago it was only a dream that our children could receive their education in a private Christian school. Now that dream is a reality.”
The funding for the additional scholarships came from students, parents, two teachers and donors in the USA. The scholarships provide school supplies, uniforms and partial tuition payments. Through the scholarships the tuition is lowered allowing us to afford to send our children to the school.
Connected with an evangelical Christian church in Guatemala City, El Shaddai has 400 students in kindergarten through high school. It offers a bilingual education (English and Spanish) and graduates about 15 students each year.
Principal Lopez has observed the positive changes the high-quality academic environment made in the lives of the three students from Dorie’s Promise.
“They are learning many things and are more self-confident,” she says. “For example, Jenny went above our expectations. She has a lot of talent and intelligence, and earned honors for being a good student.”
Our director says she has also noticed how the three girls are more organized, respectful with others, and possess improved self-esteem.
Alejandra says the eight new students who were selected for scholarships based on such factors as their legal status, grades and personal development.
“These scholarships will provide them with more than an academic education,” Alejandra says. “They will learn such values as respect, love and friendship. They will also discover a potential coming from inside that they haven’t known before.”
The principal says part of God’s purpose for El Shaddai is to impact the orphan situation in Guatemala. Part of her motive for reaching out to Dorie’s Promise stems from her pastor talking about helping others to fulfill their dreams.
The key to changing Guatemala is education, says Claudia, who is pleased that some students who ordinarily wouldn’t have access to private school will be able to attend.
They will be able to do something good for their country through increased awareness of the need to help others, she says.
The principal loves helping make significant changes in people’s lives and helping attack the problems caused by poverty.
“I felt the need to help more children at Dorie’s Promise,” Claudia says of the increased scholarships. “I saw that it’s a great organization and that children there are being cared for very well.
“I saw that I could do more to help and knew the Lord would support us. My dream is that one day I will have an institution that is able to help even more kids.”
If you want to join in the cause to help the forgotten children of Guatemala children, click here for more information.