Educational Opportunity Overcomes Tragic Circumstances

Children from Dorie's Promise Heading to School

By MJ Zelaya-

Working to teach the children at Dorie's PromiseUntil recently, our children didn’t have the opportunity to get an education in a school that wasn’t public. Guatemala public schools can be overcrowded, and the education is sub-par. Now, thanks to El Shaddai Christian School and some generous donors, more and more of our kids are getting quality education.

When they first started, it wasn’t easy for them. Most of our children have tragic backgrounds — ranging from neglect to abuse. Until they came to Dorie’s Promise, they didn’t have good structure in their lives. When they arrived, they were introduced to some structure and certainly more stability … but still many of them struggled to socialize.

“Right now we are working with our pre-school kids,” says one teacher, Beverly Humes, who started at our home in May. “We want them to have the natural abilities that some of our earlier kids had to work hard for.”

These abilities are:

  • Personal and social development: which focuses on how to socialize, solving conflicts, and how to relate to other people both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Pre-mathematics: focuses on early math processes, mental agility, and reasoning.
  • Relationship and knowledge of the environment: reflective thinking — the ability to recognize the peculiarities of the environment they occupy and the rules to work within it.
  • Communication: working on developing basic communication skills, learning to understand the importance of dialogue, as well the basics of reading and writing.
  • Fine and gross motor skills: stimulates the sensitive capacities for a better management of their movements, to obtain control of one’s body and space.

Doing homework at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaThese five abilities combined with behavioral modifiers (reinforcement) and rules will not only make it easier for our kids to fit in an educational system, but it also enhances their current learning process, giving them the structure they need in everyday life.

“Our kids are motivated,” Beverly says. “There has been great progress from the first weeks — our kids have acquired a working structure, and they know their routine inside the classroom. They are showing great progress in creativity and their capacity to express themselves.”

While they play games, focusing on all of these aspects, our kids develop a sense of affection, friendship, fellowship, and, in general, a sense of independence and autonomy that is necessary in becoming independent and functioning adults.

“It has been a great ride,” remarks Beverly. “It is inspiring to see how our kids develop and become better people.”

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